NABARANGPUR:At a time when the administration is trying to create awareness among tribals about medical facilities available for the newborns, yet another infant has fallen victim to traditional healing practices in Nabarangpur. A 33-day-old baby girl died on Tuesday night after she was branded with hot iron knife by a disari (village quack). The infant was undergoing treatment at the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) here.
The girl was born to Laxmi and Padlam Harijan of Maltigam village in Kosagumuda block last month at the Community Health Centre (CHC) in Kosagumuda. A few days later, her stomach swelled and she started vomiting. Subsequently, the her grandfather called a disari, who branded the girl’s chest and stomach with a hot iron knife. He then asked Laxmi to keep the girl’s stomach covered. Although the infant’s condition deteriorated, she was not admitted to the CHC.
On Sunday, ANM Jyotsna Padhi and anganwadi worker Janaki Bhotra went to Padlam’s house to administer polio drops to the girl and found her stomach covered. As her condition was serious, they advised the couple to admit her to the CHC at Kosagumuda. They visited Padlam’s house again on Tuesday only to find the girl in a critical condition. They rushed the girl to the CHC where doctors referred her to the DHH. She was admitted to the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) in the hospital where she succumbed late in the night.
Head of the Paediatric Department in DHH, Dr Dharini Satpathy, said the girl was suffering from acute pneumonia and her condition was critical.
Last week, a seven-month baby boy was subjected to traditional healing practice by his father. The boy, Chandan, suffered from chronic cough and was prescribed medicines by an anganwadi worker. As his condition did not improve, his father Ram Gond of Mahubhota village under Jodenga gram panchayat prepared a cashew nut gel and applied it on his son’s chest with a bamboo stick as part of traditional treatment. The boy suffered from acute anaemia, pneumonia, malnutrition and died on Monday.
This is the fifth incident of newborns being branded with hot iron roads in remote villages of Nabarangpur district in the last one month. A 15-day-old girl child, who was branded with an iron rod by a quack in Goramba village under Jharigam block, had died on January 25.