After waiting more than an hour outside a government hospital in Firozabad in western Uttar Pradesh, the mother of a 12-year-old fell at the feet of a doctor on Sunday night as her son was admitted, capturing the despair of patients and their relatives in the district battling a severe form of dengue that most affects children.
In Firozabad district, at least 53 people, including 40 children, have died from dengue in the past 10 days. The state government said most of the deaths were due to “dengue hemorrhagic fever,” a serious form of the disease.
The videos, taken by journalists covering the special hospital treating dengue cases in Firozabad on Sunday, showed the family waiting outside with the boy slumped on the floor and his head in a girl’s lap. His mother and some others are sitting around him. Later, the boy, dressed in shirt and trousers, is taken in the arms of a man and taken to the hospital where a doctor sees him examined.
At that moment, the mother collapses and falls at the feet of Dr. Sangeeta Aneja, the director of the city’s medical school.
As the child’s mother wipes tears with her sari, Dr. Aneja and staff are seen instructing staff to bring the child inside. “Ghabrao mat, ghabrao mat (Don’t worry, don’t worry),” said Dr. Aneja, reassuring the woman.
“There is no such thing. There are 540 children admitted here… Everyone wants to be admitted. Even with two people in one bed they are fine. They are right; our focus is also on saving lives. The moment we turn i.e. the child was admitted. I’m here to make sure no patient is inconvenienced,” said Dr Aneja, when asked about the delay in admission.
Health Ministry sources told NewsMadura that more than 50 percent of the 200 or so samples collected in Firozabad and nearby areas had tested positive for dengue.
“We have 755 surveillance teams and we had 64 special camps today (Sunday) where 4,469 patients came in today. Of which 3044 patients had fever. 236 samples came back positive for dengue and we got 4 confirmed cases of lepto-spirosis. We also have cases of scrub typhus.” says Dr. Dinesh Kumar Premi, Chief Medical Officer, Firozabad.
Sources also said authorities are treating the outbreak of cases in Firozabad as a “dengue outbreak”.
Other districts in western UP, such as Mathura and Agra, have also reported an increase in dengue, with hospitals full of children suffering from viral fevers and dehydration.
A team of experts from the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Vector Borne Disease Control Program has been sent to Firozabad by the center to assist health officials.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath visited Firozabad a few days ago and said all measures would be taken to help those in need of treatment. The district’s top health official, the chief medical officer, was transferred after Yogi Adityanath’s visit.