GUNTUR: A three-member committee of medical experts has been constituted by the commissioner of health and family welfare to look into the deaths two infants (twins) who were given BCG vaccine in December last.
The central commissioner of health and family welfare had asked the state commissioner to constitute a committee of three doctors or medical professors to investigate the death of the infants that occurred at Mannepalli village in Bollapalli mandal on December 29 last year. The committee woill visit the village soon and meet the parents of the twins and village elders to record their statements.
Ramavat Bullibai, who married Ramavat Rootla Naik two years ago, gave birth to two male twins on the night of December 27, 2011. The twins weighed 1.25 kg and 1.50 kg. On the morning of December 29 the village auxiliary nurse midwife (ANM), R Meenakshi, reached Bullibai's house and administered BCG vaccine to the twins and also to four other infants in the village but the twins died soon after.
District immunization officer Dr KVS Siva Prasad had conducted a preliminary inquiry into the deaths and submitted a report to the district medical & health officer, saying that the twins had died of suffocation due to pneumonia. The DM&HO forwarded the report to the commissioner of health and family welfare who rejected the report and issued orders for constitution of a high-level committee of doctors to probe the deaths.
Complying with the orders, DM&HO Dr M Gopi Naik constituted a committee with Dr P Yasodhara, head of pediatrics; Dr K Kamala, head of micro-biology; and Dr D Jagannadha Rao of social and preventive medicine at the Guntur General Hospital and the Guntur Medical College. The committee is to visit the village to examine the cause of the deaths.
Meanwhile, the father of the deceased twins, Ramavat Rootla Naik, has alleged that the local authorities were trying to hush up the case.
"Both infants had become inactive within minutes of immunisation," said the mother, Ramavat Bullibai. The infants were shifted to the Vinukonda area hospital as the ANM had gone to help them but the doctors declared the twins `brought dead'.
Two village elders, V Mangya Naik and Rama Naik, wrote a letter to
the central commissioner of health in Delhi requesting him to order an inquiry into the deaths, Rama Naik told Express.
Rama Naik alleged that the police had taken his and his wife's signatures on a blank paper.