Odisha

Hot-Iron Branding Kills 3 Month-Old Baby Girl

Keonjhar: In a shocking incident, a three-month-old baby girl succumbed to the age-old, neck-deep superstition of branding on stomach to cure of any ailment.

Notably, Parbati Juanga, the three-month-old only daughter of Pravat Juanga of Sanakamunda village of Tentimuda block was suffering from cold, cough and fever. Instead of taking her to hospital for treatment, her parents called upon the village quack, who pressed red-hot iron on his stomach at several places in a bid to cure her.

But, unfortunately, the baby did not get well, rather was infected and became serious with septicaemia. She was rushed to the nearby Telkoi Health Care Centre but succumbed to the injuries in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

“I have instructed the medical officer-in-charge to trace the village quack as soon as possible. We will take all necessary steps to ensure that no such incident happens in future,” informed Dr. Kabindra Prasad Sahu, CDMO, Keonjahar.

“Moreover, I would like to remind and reprimand the Asha and Anganwadi workers, that inspite of such facilities of vehicles are provided by the government, why are they unable to trace these ill children and bring them to hospitals for treatment on time. They should be more alert to prevent such cases,” he added.

“We are trying hard to prevent such incidents in future,” said the CDMO.

Despite numerous awareness campaigns and extensive media coverage, this age-old practice of the tribals resurfaces every now and then, challenging the authorities and their efforts. It seems an an uphill task, as the villagers resort to child branding as a first step to heal the baby out of exasperation.

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