In the third such incident in Nabarangpur in two months, a seven-day-old infant has been branded with a hot knife on the chest and stomach, allegedly by a village quack who was trying to ‘cure’ a stomach ailment.
The son of Mukunda and Kusuma Bhatra from Dabiriguda village in Nabarangpur district’s Dabugan block was admitted to the district headquarters hospital on Thursday night after his condition became critical.
Dharani Ranjan Satpathy, the paediatrician of the hospital, told The Indian Express that a quack of the village allegedly branded the child with a hot iron knife on January 26. “The parents took the infant to the quack after his abdomen swelled. Though he was critical on Thursday, he is now stable and is breastfeeding,” said Dr Satpathy.
The quack is yet to be arrested as the child’s parents have not revealed his name. “These practices are common in Nabarangpur. It is only being reported in newspapers and TV channels now,” Dr Satpathy said. Referring to the incident, former Nabarangpur Congress MP Pradip Majhi tweeted: “When health infrastructure under Naveen Patnaik has completely collapsed in Nabrangpur, people have to take refuge in dogmas.”
Earlier this week, a 15-day-old girl from Goram village of Nabarangpur’s Jharigaron block died due to infection from branding after her parents took her to a quack to cure an abdominal ailment. Last month, a 27-day-old baby landed at the Nabarangpur district headquarter hospital after a quack branded him on the stomach.