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Fears rife about anti-malaria tablets

Last Updated : 14 June 2010, 18:05 IST
Last Updated : 14 June 2010, 18:05 IST

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Students of Government Higher Primary School in Kammasandra were administered the tablets last Tuesday after cases of malaria were reported. One person died of malaria in Kallikuppa village and another confirmed case has been reported in Kammasandra.

There are only two options to curb the spread of the disease –– preventing breeding of mosquitoes and consumption of anti-malaria tablets.  The latter is the responsibility of the Health department and they have been distributing tablets. But, the incident on Tuesday has baffled the health workers too.

As many as 84 students had fallen ill. However, the Health department has not made any attempts to dispel the fear and has been using the excuse of ‘mass phobia’ to not act.
Doctors suspect that children may have consumed the tablets on an empty stomach leading to gastric and therefore the side effects. But health workers maintain that the pills were administered after the mid-day meal provided at schools.

“Health workers put three pills in my mouth after food. I started to feel giddy and started vomiting after a while,” recalled Ganesh, a class four student. Students stayed away from school for almost four days after the incident and there are no takers for the tablets in Kammasandra, Chimanabandahalli and Chennapalli villages.

Villagers and teachers are upset with the health department for not offering explanations and for not taking steps to clarify their doubts. The Education department has issued a diktat to schools to ban paramedical staff from entering schools and has insisted that it will only allow doctors henceforth.

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Published 14 June 2010, 18:05 IST

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