‘Denied' vaccine, boy dies of rabies

The 16-year-old had to run from one hospital to another for ARV in Khammam

May 30, 2011 11:44 am | Updated 11:48 am IST - KHAMMAM:

Grief-stricken relatives carry the body of 16-year-old Challa Balu who succumbed to rabies at a private hospital in Khammam on Sunday.

Grief-stricken relatives carry the body of 16-year-old Challa Balu who succumbed to rabies at a private hospital in Khammam on Sunday.

A 16-year-old boy, who was bitten by a stray dog and allegedly denied anti rabies vaccine at the district headquarters hospital over three weeks ago, succumbed to rabies at a private hospital here on Sunday.

Five more persons were attacked by stray dogs at different places in and around Khammam. Sources said that Anjaiah and Biksham of B. K. Bazar sustained multiple injuries after being attacked by stray dogs on Sunday morning. Another person was injured when was attacked by the stray dogs while he was accompanying his daughter to a DIET-CET centre near Rotary Nagar. Ironically, the boy breathed his last just a few minutes after Minister for Horticulture R. Venkat Reddy enquired about his health and assured “all help” from the government.

The incident set off protests from the relatives of the boy who accused medical officials concerned of negligence.

Challa Balu, 16, a native of Danavaigudem village in Khammam rural mandal, suffered injuries along with his parents Narsimha and Savithramma besides two others after they were attacked by a stray dog near a dumping yard in the village on May 1.

They approached the doctors concerned at the district headquarters hospital on the same day. However, a lady doctor reportedly sent them away after giving some medicines without administering ARV. Later, the boy was forced to run from one government health centre to another to get the vaccine in vain, sources said.

Balu was admitted in a town-based private hospital on Saturday when he developed rabies symptoms. However, he died at the hospital on Sunday morning. Earlier, heartrending scenes were witnessed at the private hospital when Balu cried for help and pleaded with the doctors to save his life.

He succumbed to rabies even as the doctors at the private hospital watched helplessly. Devastated over Balu's death, his sister Sirisha broke down. When some officials assured financial help to their family, she shot back: “We don't want money. You bring my brother back”.

Crying inconsolably Savithramma, the mother of Balu, alleged that her grown up son died due to the negligence of a doctor at the civil hospital in Khammam. “The lady doctor denied us anti-rabies vaccine citing shortage and sent us away when we approached her for vaccination,” she charged.

Magisterial probe

Meanwhile, Khammam RDO V Venkateshwarlu said that a magisterial inquiry would be conducted into the incident. Proposals would be sent to the government to ensure adequate financial help, house site and other needy assistance to the family of the victim, he said.

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