An incident of severe medical negligence was reported from Maharashtra's Yawatmal district where as many as 12 children were administered hand sanitisers instead of oral polio doses.
According to media reports, the affected children were below five years of age and were admitted to a government hospital for treatment on Monday, February 1. Their condition is stated to be stable now.
Three ASHA health workers have reportedly been suspended during the investigation, according to the district official.
The New Indian Express reported that the incident took place at Bhanbora PHC ( Primary Health Centre) in Kapsikopri village when the National Pulse Polio vaccination drive for children aged 1-5 years was being conducted.
Speaking to the publication, Shrikirhsna Panchal, CEO of Yawatmal Zilla Parishad said that an inquiry was immediately put in place where it was found that the ASHA workers had wrongly administered the hand sanitiser as a polio dose to 12 kids in that village.
Subsequently, one of the children complained of vomiting and uneasiness. Later, the children were rushed to the government hospital.
"We had even trained them for 15 days. Despite that, the health workers did not follow the training guidelines and administered hand sanitisers to kids. We had asked them to sanitise their hands due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic," Panchal said.
"We cannot afford such kind of negligence in the national health program. Therefore, immediate action has been taken against them," he added.
"We need to check all angles while probing this case and the administration should take precaution that such kind of an incident should happen again. This is really surprising and shocking that after several years of successful polio drive, how such kind of incident takes place," said social activist Kishor Tiwari while demanding a high-level probe in the incident.