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Pradeep Pattanayak

Blind beliefs have once again claimed a precious life in Odisha. The superstitious practice of branding with hot iron rod to cure ailments has claimed the life of a none-month-old child at Jadapara village of Kasakanga Panchayat under Raighar block in Nabarangpur district. 

The deceased child has been identified as Rupesh (9 months), son of Sukadeb Gond of Jadapara village. 

According to a report, Rupesh was detected with fever apart from cold and cough a few days ago. 

After coming to know about the health condition of Rupesh from some other sources, ASHA worker Sahanti Gond visited Sukadeb’s house and advised family members to shift the patient to hospital.  

Unfortunately, the family members went for traditional healing practices to cure Rupesh. 

They called a traditional healer, an old woman, to their house to give hot iron treatment to Rupesh. 

However, seeing Rupesh being branded with hot iron, the ASHA worker immediately called an 108 ambulance. 

As Rupesh’s health condition deteriorated, he was rushed to Hatabharandi community health centre (CHC). 

However, the family members allegedly took Rupesh away from the CHC without informing anyone. 

The doctor at the CHC also lodged  a written complaint at Kundei police station in this regard.

Back at home, the family members again got Rupesh treated with hot iron branding which is learnt to have led to serious burn injuries. 

"He was suffering from fever and cough. We took him to Umerkote, Nabarangpur and Koraput. It was when his cough did not subside that we decided to go for branding,” said the deceased’s  sister.

The ASHA worker said, “Though I advised them to take their son to hospital, they went on treating him with hot iron. However, I managed to persuade them and admitted him to hospital on Wednesday. But they left the hospital without informing anyone, including me.”

In this regard, no reaction has been received from the administration as yet.
 

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