Rights panel orders compensation to girl's mother

CHENNAI, MARCH 17. Taking a serious view of a complaint that a child died in the absence of timely treatment for rabies in a government hospital, the State Human Rights Commission has recommended to the Tamil Nadu Government payment of a compensation of Rs.15,000 to the mother.

The Commission Member, S. Sambandham, said the amount should be paid by the Government and later recovered from the salary of the nurse concerned.

Mr. Sambandham took suo motu cognisance of an article in a Tamil magazine. According to the averments in the magazine, Vijayalakshmi's daughter Maheswari (5) was bitten by a stray dog in August 2004. She admitted her daughter to the Paramathi Velur Government Hospital (GH). The staff nurse demanded Rs.50 as bribe from Vijayalakshmi and also asked her to produce the family card or some other record for identification. On the third day, Vijayalakshmi took Maheswari to Velayuthampalayam Government Hospital. Despite the medical care there, the girl died.

Mr. Sambandham said a report was called for from the Joint Director of Health Services, Namakkal. The report of enquiry by the Resident Medical Officer revealed that though the doctors in the Paramathi Velur GH prescribed anti-rabies injection, the staff nurse did not administer it. There was stock of the injection in the hospital. Producing the roaster for the date concerned, the hospital's Chief Medical Officer said one Kalaimani was the staff nurse in charge of out-patient injection that day.

The member rejected Mrs. Kalaimani's submission that she was not on duty that day and that Maheswari was not brought to her for injection.

Mr. Sambandham said Vijayalakshmi's submissions, the report of the Joint Director of Health Services and the statements of persons concerned, which were recorded, clearly showed that Mrs. Kalaimani was at fault and she had committed human rights violation.

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