A five-year-old boy who was diagnosed with measles died due to infection in the city, while his elder sister is battling for life in Bangalore’s Vani Vilas Hospital.
Did their poverty come in the way of them getting access to good treatment or was it medical negligence?
The Child and Women Welfare Department claims that the patients were provided with all benefits from the government, including BPL Card, and two other children from the same family were being taken care of by the anganawadi.
Narasimha Murthy and Lakshmidevamma, residents of Ambedkar Colony in Chikballapur, are parents of Aswini (11), Chaithra (8), Pratab (5) and Siva Kumar (3). They were living in a small house along their grandfather, who could not move about easily due to old age. It is said that a month back, a relative visited them at their house, following which Pratab was diagnosed with Measles.
The boy was not given proper treatment, as his father was an alcoholic and Lakshmidevamma worked as a daily wager to feed the family. Two days back, Pratab’s condition worsened and he was taken to Chikballapur Government Hospital, where the doctors referred him to Bangalore Vani Vilas Hospital. On the way to the hospital, he breathed his last on Friday. His sister Chaithra is now being treated in the same hospital. When contacted, deputy director of Women and Child Welfare Department Surekha told Express that the death was not caused by poverty, as the family benefited by government schemes including the BPL card facilities. “The atmosphere in the house is not good. Though they were advised to maintain hygiene at home, they failed to take it seriously,” she said. Sources said the residents of Ambedkar Colony had arranged funds to the tune of `10,000 to save the boy.