Kerala girl dies after snake bites her in class


Teacher, doctor suspended after the incident sparks Statewide outrage

The death of a 10-year-old girl after she was reportedly bitten by a snake in her classroom on Wednesday, sparked a wave of outrage and protests across the State on Thursday following allegations of negligence against the school authorities and the doctors who treated the child at four hospitals.

A teacher at the Government Sarvajana High School, Sulthan Bathery, and a doctor at the Bathery taluk hospital were suspended after a preliminary inquiry found them guilty of delaying treatment to the child, Shehala Sherin.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death of Shehala. Mr. Vijayan said in his Facebook post that the government had taken the tragic incident very seriously and stringent action would be taken against those responsible for it.

Congress MP Rahul Gandhi wrote to Mr. Vijayan saying the school’s “crumbling infrastructure” needed urgent attention of the State government.

The incident

Shehala was injured after her leg was caught in a crack in the classroom floor around 3.15 p.m. on Wednesday. According to the child’s parents and classmates, the teachers at the school refused to take her to hospital immediately after red spots were noticed.

Some students suspected the possibility of a snakebite but a teacher insisted that the red spots may be due to a nail or the sharp edges of the hole on the floor.

“The teacher refused to take her to a doctor,” one of the students said. Moreover, he discouraged a teacher who was ready to take the girl to hospital.

“If she was taken to a hospital on time the life of my friend could have been saved,” the student said. The students also complained that the school authorities did not allow them to use sandals or shoes inside classrooms. There were many cracks on the floor of the old school building and snakes were a common sight on the school premises, she added.

However, the school authorities said they had administered first aid to the child after the incident and informed her father, Abdul Azeez, who was an advocate, at once about the incident and he replied that he would come to the school and take the child to the hospital.

Her father reached the school around 3.45 p.m. and took her to a private hospital and later to the taluk hospital at Sulthan Bathery .

Even though the child was under observation for around an hour at the taluk hospital, they referred her to the medical college hospital in Kozhikode. Her condition worsened en route to Kozhikode and she was admitted to the government hospital at Vythiri. Later she was shifted to a private hospital at Vythiri, where doctors declared her dead on arrival.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 5:53:18 PM |

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