As many as 12 children were administered hand sanitiser instead of polio drops in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district, PTI reported on Monday. Authorities said that three healthcare workers will face action for the lapse.
The incident occurred on January 31 at the Bhanbora Primary Health Centre in Kapsikopri village during the National Pulse Polio vaccination drive for children aged between 1 and 5. The affected children, all of who are below the age of five, were admitted to the Government Medical College in Yavatmal.
Yavatmal Zilla Parishad Chief Executive Officer Shrikrishna Panchal said the children were given two drops of sanitiser in place of polio drops. Subsequently, one of the children complained of uneasiness and vomited, he added.
“The condition of the children is stable and they continue to be under observation,” Dean of Yavatmal Medical College Milind Kamble told the Hindustan Times. “All children are now out of danger.”
Kumble added that while the intake of sanitizing liquids was not fatal, the fact that it contains around 70% alcohol may potentially create health complications, especially among children.
As per preliminary information, three healthcare workers – a doctor, anganwadi sevika and an ASHA volunteer – were present at the primary health centre at the time of the incident. “An inquiry is underway and orders will be issued to suspend all the three healthcare workers,” Panchal said.
Meanwhile, parents of the children alleged that the health workers at the booth were reluctant to shift them to the government-run medical college and hospital after the error. They said the officials tried to cover up the mistake, but were left with no option but to inform their seniors after three kids started vomiting, according to the Hindustan Times.
“They called us back from home after some time and administered the polio dose to my children,” P Meshram, whose two sons were among the 12 affected kids, told the newspaper. “But they did not reveal the reason behind giving it again. We realised their mistake only when our children started vomiting.”