'De-worming paralyses child'

Doctors say the pill cannot be blamed for child's paralytic attack

A controversy has erupted over  Delhi government’s mass de-worming drive after a parent claimed that the medicine had paralysed his child.

Doctors refute the claim but the child's father  maintains that the de-worming exercise is the cause of his son’s condition.

“My son went to the school in normal condition. After the de-worming drug was given to him, he started vomiting and became unconscious,” said Rajesh Chaudhary father of Prashant Chadudhary, the 14-year-old admitted at G B Pant Hospital.

“The school teacher called me and we took him to the hospital,” he added.

Prashant was first taken to Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital. Then he was referred to G B Pant due to his serious condition.

An MRI scan of the class 5 student at Sarvodaya Secondary School, Mangolpuri, showed that the right side of his brain had some damage which caused paralysis on the  left, including the arm and the leg.

Doctors deny
While Chaudhary blamed the de-worming drug given on Monday in a city-wide  exercise, doctors at G B Pant Hospital said there is no connection between the two.

“The medical history of Prashant shows that he has had some problems in the brain for a long time, said Dr A P Dubey head of pediatrics department, G B Pant Hospital.

“It is a mere coincidence that he had the paralytic attack on the day of Delhi government’s de-worming exercise,” he added.

The medicine administered is not known to cause any serious side-effects, he added.
“Nearly 340 children complained of minor ailments like nausea and pain in abdomen after taking the medicine. But that is common,” said Dr Dubey.

He also refuted the claim that 500 miligram of the medicine is a very high dose.

Varied dosage
“If a child is being individually treated for worms, she is given 100 miligram of dosage for three days, whereas in a mass exercise,  is 500 miligram. This is done according to the World Health Organisation’s norms,” said Dr Dubey.

Experts also said the previous history of a child is usually not an issue while giving the medicine.

“It is ideal to ask for previous history while giving any medicine. But the medicine for de-worming does not interfere in other treatments. It can cause minor problems, but not serious ones,” said Dr Mahaveer Jain of Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Gurgaon chapter.

 The de-worming drive is part of the government’s Chacha Nehru Sehat Yojna. As part of the initiative around 35 lakh preschool and school age children were given a chewable tablet.

The initiative was launched by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on February 20. A mop up will be conducted on Monday.

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