india

3 kids dead after taking syrup prescribed by mohalla clinics

DGHS advises against using it for those less than four years

Three children have died after consuming Dextromethorphan, a cough syrup, prescribed by “mohalla clinics” run by the Delhi Government, the Directorate of Health Services (DGHS) of the Central Government said in a letter.

There is no clarity on when the deaths occurred.

“Sixteen cases of Dextramethorphan poisoning were reported at Kalawati Saran Children Hospital of which three children expired in the hospital. These children were prescribed Dextramethorphan drug by the Delhi Government-run mohalla clinics. The drug is strictly not recommended for paediatric-age children,” the DGHS letter dated December 7 read.

The DGHS also directed the Delhi Government to issue a notice to all dispensaries and mohalla clinics “not to prescribe” Dextromethorphan for children less than four years of age and also suggested withdrawing the drug in “larger public interest”.

Doctors terminated

Later in the evening, Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain, said: “It is a very sad matter that a few days ago, three children died at Kalawati Saran Hospital due to reaction of medicine. Three doctors have been terminated and an inquiry has been ordered. We have complained to the Delhi Medical Council about the doctors.”

A Delhi Government spokesperson did not respond to questions on when the children died or the deaths did happen at different mohalla clinics, and whether a post-mortem was conducted in these cases. The Minister also did not respond to calls or messages seeking comment.

A committee has been constituted to conduct an inquiry into the matter following the Central Government letter regarding the deaths of children, an official order by the Delhi Government said on Monday. The committee has been asked to submit a report within seven days.

Delhi Congress president Ch. Anil Kumar demanded a compensation of ₹1 crore to the families of the victims and ₹10 lakh relief to those who are under treatment.

“The death of the three children has uncovered the mask of the Delhi Government and the incompetence of the mohalla clinic doctors. It is a matter of grave concern that mohalla clinics are managed by incapable doctors,” Mr. Kumar said.

Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, said the children died due to the ineligibility of the doctors at mohalla clinics.

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