Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Nabarangpur/Rourkela, Mar 10:
After battling for life for eight days, a month-old baby boy who was branded with hot iron nails at B Maliguda village under Nandahandi block in Odisha’s Nabarangpur district died at the hospital this afternoon.
The 30-day old baby was taken to the district headquarters hospital in a critical condition today. However, the doctors declared him brought dead.
According to reports, the infant was branded with hot iron nails a week ago by a disari (local healer) of a nearby village.
In last one week, at least five cases of newborn branding have come to the fore.
“The month-old baby was branded with hot iron nails almost eight days ago. The wounds had caused infection due to which he died. The baby had already died before coming to hospital. We confirmed it that he had died,” said Dr Preeti Nayak, CMO Nabarangpur district headquarters hospital.
In a similar development, yet another child was admitted to hospital in Steel City in a critical condition after being branded with hot objects.
The month old baby of Chhian Barla from Lohar slum at Deogaon in Sundargarh district has been admitted to Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH) in a critical condition.
A woman of the slum branded the only son of the Barla couple branded the newborn at 10 places in the abdomen to cure blackening of veins in the left hand.
The infant is undergoing treatment at RGH in critical condition.
Earlier, a 34-day-old infant was branded with hot iron bangles at Kenduhuda village under Papadahandi block in Nabarangpur district.
The parents of the infant took her to a disari (local healer) who branded her with hot iron bangles to cure her of ailments. However, her health condition deteriorated instead of getting any better.
The child of Laxmi Pujari was admitted to the district headquarters hospital with multiple burn marks on her abdomen.
Sadly, the district is infamous for incidents of branding newborns in the name of treating them to cure them of their ailments. The quacks exploit the villagers of tribal-dominated district where health services are yet to reach the common people.
Apart from superstition reigning supreme in the backward regions, the large-scale vacancies of medical staff in the hospitals play a significant role in the deteriorating healthcare facilities in the district.