A one-and-a-half year-old baby died barely half an hour after being administered polio drops in Ludhiana’s Abdullapur Basti area. The drops were given to the child by Angandwadi workers as part of a door-to-door immunisation drive. Tension gripped the area after the incident.
Victim Aditya Kumar’s parents, who are residents of Agra and had come to visit a relative, said that the child was rushed to a nearby hospital, but could not be saved. “My son was sleeping on a cot outside the house when Anganwadi workers came, they forcibly made him wake up and administered him polio drops. Family members had told them not to vaccinate the child as he was sleeping. Just half an hour after the incident, the child’s health started deteriorating. Child became unconscious and when taken to nearby Krishna hospital, he was declared brought dead,” said the father, Rajinder Kumar.
Dr Jasbir Singh, District Immunisation Officer, said,”In our five-day long drive, we administered drops to over 3.75 lakh children and no ailment has been reported in any child. Death of the child must be due to some other reason. It was just a coincidence that it happened after some time of administering polio drops. Postmortem can reveal the cause of death. A board of doctors will be doing postmortem.”
He added: “From the same vial, 15 other children had also been administered polio drops in the same area and everyone is fine. We are running this immunisation campaign since 1995 and nothing has happened with this drug ever. However, we are waiting for the postmortem report.”
Meanwhile, police reached the spot immediately after the incident. Surinder Chopra, SHO, Model Town, said,”We are conducting an inquiry and action will be taken after the postmortem report. We have recorded statements of family members.” Eyewitnesses claimed that the baby had started frothing at the mouth when he was rushed to the hospital. The present five-day immunisation campaign had started on September 17 and it concluded on September 21, Thursday. Under this campaign, more than 3.75 lakh children got polio drops in Ludhiana alone, but no other incident of death except this case was reported.