R.Vimal Kumar

People suspected to have contracted chikungunya are falling victims

TUTICORIN: Quacks operating across the district pose a threat to the `Operation Chikungunya-2006' campaign launched by the State Government.

The people suspected to have contracted chikungunya are falling victims to these quacks, especially in rural areas.

The latest victim was Ganesh Kumar (14), a resident of Ottapidaram, who died on October 3, after he was allegedly treated by a quack, who holds a diploma in pharmacy.

An investigation the Health Department conducted after the death revealed the boy had been administered an injection for symptoms of chikungunya, by Raju, a pharmacist, at his `clinic' on Ottapidaram-Kurukkusalai road.

"Soon after the injection was administered, the boy developed Gangrene as well as Septicaemia and died," Selva Kumari, Deputy Director of Health Services, told The Hindu . A notice had been served on Raju, she said.

Similar deaths were reported from other parts of the district. Medical sources said a physiotherapy graduate was prescribing internal medicines to patients at a clinic at Puthiamputhur using the name of a lady doctor. A Siddha practitioner was administering injection at his clinic near Puthiamputhur and an ex-laboratory technician was running a clinic at Ottapidaram, all against the Code of Medical Ethics, 2003, formulated by the Tamil Nadu Medical Council.

Collector R. Palaniyandi said cases would be registered against those who practised medicine without degrees.