A day after being administered deworming tablets at an anganwadi in Telangana’s Jagtial district, one child has died and around 10 children have fallen ill and have been admitted to a hospital for treatment. The deceased has been identified as 7-year-old Sahasra, a second standard student at a private school in Jagtial.
According to Jagtial DMHO, Dr Sridhar, the girl was taken to the anganwadi by her mother during lunchtime on Monday, where she was given the tablet. She was then dropped off at school.
“Her mother had just left her at school and was at the school gate when she received a call from the girl’s teacher saying that her daughter had fainted. The girl was immediately rushed to a nearby private hospital where doctors declared her brought dead,” added the DMHO.
Another 10 children who were also allegedly administered deworming tablets at the same anganwadi in Jagtial district’s Dharmapuri, were also admitted to a hospital after complaining of stomach pain, nausea and dizziness.
“The children were stabilised and sent home, they are doing better. We have yet to determine if the cause of death of this young girl was due to the tablets, or if there was an underlying condition that was not earlier known. The girl’s body has been taken to the government hospital for a post-mortem. We will be able to say what the cause of death was only after that,” added Dr Sridhar.
A case has been filed at Dharmapuri police station and an FIR filed under section 174 (suspicious death) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Speaking to TNM, CI Lakshmibabu of the police station stated that further details would be revealed following the post-mortem.
“The young girl had developed fits (seizures) which led to her death. We are investigating the issue and the details will be furnished once we know what has caused her death. There were also 10 other children who had fallen ill, but they are doing better now,” he said.
He further added that around 8,000 albendazole tablets had been distributed at the anganwadi centre as part of the deworming program. Albendazole is an antihelminthic drug, which means that it is used to treat against a wide range of parasitic infestations. It is usually considered to be safe, and parents are advised to ensure that young children are dewormed at least once a year.