In a tragic incident in Karnataka‚Äôs Belagavi district, three children who had taken the measles-rubella (MR) vaccine on January 11 died, allegedly due to improper measures taken during vaccination. A preliminary probe into the death of the three babies has revealed that negligence on the part of one of the health workers is the reason for the tragedy.
Pavithra Halagur, a 13-month-old baby girl, died the same day after being administered the first dose of the MR vaccine. She developed nausea and vomiting a few hours after inoculation. Umesh Karagundi, a 14-month-old child, though shifted to the Belagavi Institute of Medical Sciences (BIMS), developed convulsion in the ICU and died on January 15. Chetana, a 15-month-old baby who got the shot on January 11, also died the same day.
Following the probe, a government health worker has been suspended. Two other girl children, one 18-month-old and another 12-month-old, also developed complications and are recovering in the hospital. The health worker who inoculated the babies at the anganwadi centre in Ramdurg taluk of Belagavi district had allegedly not taken aseptic or surgically sterile measures, which led to the deaths, according to the government. Children below the age of 15 months are given the first dose against MR and those above 15 months are given the second dose.
At least two deaths were reported after vaccination at the Bochagala camp on January 12 and one from Mallapura on January 11. As many as 17 babies were vaccinated at the Bochagala camp and four babies had received shots at the Mallapura camp.
A relative of one of the children told TV9 that he believed that the deaths occurred due to negligence by the health officials. The district authorities maintained that a detailed probe is underway and it will reveal the exact cause of deaths and nature of negligence.
Belagavi District Health Officer Dr SV Munyal said that the guilty will be punished. There is a committee to look into the adverse effects of vaccination. The samples of blood and excreta of the babies have been sent to the laboratory and the report will give a clearer picture, he said. Apart from this, the department is also conducting an investigation. In addition to this, the DHO told reporters that the batch of vaccine given to the children has been sent to a vaccine testing centre near Delhi.
With IANS inputs