In an unfortunate case of negligence, 12 children in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district were administered hand sanitizer drops instead of polio drops at Bhanbora Primary Health Centre in Kapsokopri village on Sunday. According to reports, the children were to be administered polio drops under the National Pulse Polio vaccination drive for children aged 1-5 years. The drive was being conducted on the Polio National Immunisation Day observed on January 31.
Three healthcare workers suspended
Yavatmal Zila Parishad CEO Shrikrishna Panchal said that the matter is being investigated and three healthcare workers have been suspended so far. The affected children were reportedly admitted to a government hospital after one of the children complained of vomiting and uneasiness. The condition of the children is reportedly stable but they continue to be under observation. The children, all aged below five years, were given two drops of hand sanitizer instead of the oral polio vaccine.
According to CEO Panchal, the concerned ASHA workers were trained for the polio vaccination drive, and yet they committed the blunder. “We had even trained them for 15 days. Despite that, the health workers did not follow the training guidelines and administered hand sanitizers to kids. We had asked them to sanitize their hands due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic”, said Panchal. He said that the preliminary investigation has revealed that a doctor, an Anganwadi Sevika, and an ASHA volunteer were present at the PHC when the incident occurred.
Parents in fear, demand action
As per reports, the matter came to light after the village sarpanch checked the drops and found that it was hand sanitizer and not the polio doses. Following the incident, their parents in the area are under fear and have demanded action against the persons responsible for the lapse. Yavatmal Collector MD Singh visited the hospital and enquired about the condition of the children.