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Suryakant Jena

Angul: Financially paralysed, the family members of a two-month-old baby who is suffering from a severe hydrocephalus disease are now anxiously awaiting government help.

For Basudev Mishra and Rupa Das of Hakimpara area in Angul district, happiness knew no bounds when they welcomed a baby girl two months ago whom they named Vaishnavi. But their joy was short-lived because they soon realised that Vaishnavi’s health condition was weakening.

Worried, Vaishnavi’s parents admitted her to Cuttack Sishu Bhawan where doctors informed that she was suffering from a neurological disorder with excessive swelling of her head.

The doctors clarified that Vaishnavi was suffering from a disease called Hydrocephalus which leads to excess cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) build-up within the ventricles (fluid-containing cavities) of the brain. Subsequently the victim suffers abnormal enlargement of the head. Following the diagnosis, the doctors suggested that a surgery needs to be performed on her head to drain out excess fluid from her brain.

However, Vaishnavi's family members are now anxiously waiting for government assistance because of acute financial crunch after spending whatever they had for her treatment. “The doctors asked us to admit the baby after one month for urgent surgery but due to financial constraints we could not go to the hospital again,” said mother of Vaishnavi.

Sources said Vaishnavi’s family is entirely dependent on her father Basudev’s earning that he ekes out by working as a daily-wage labourer at a private company outside the district. Reeling under below poverty line, the family has requested the government to lend a helping hand to facilitate her treatment.

Meanwhile, the doctors have assured that the girl can be cured after treatment. Angul Child Welfare authorities have also expressed assurance of apprising the matter to the administration so that necessary financial assistance can be arranged for the baby girl’s treatment.

“The cerebro-spinal fluid circulates in the brain through ventricles and trickles down the spinal cord but in case of any blockage, the fluid accumulates in the brain. So in order for recovery, we need to drain the fluid out,” said doctor Debasish Pradhan.

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