Infant death: Quack arrested for branding baby with hot nail

Nabarangpur: A woman quack was arrested by Umarkote police on Monday for branding a nine-day old infant at Gorama village under Jharigaon block in the district.

Police nabbed the lady quack acting on the complaint lodged by the father of the baby, who succumbed to the burns at the district headquarters hospital this morning.

Budu Kalar and his wife Bindu, parents of the infant, had taken the baby to the quack named Kusumati after they felt their baby was suffering from stomach pain. The quack branded the baby with a hot iron nail in the name of treatment.

After being branded, the baby’s condition started deteriorating and she was admitted to Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of district headquarters hospital.

But despite all efforts by the doctors, the baby succumbed to her injuries on Monday morning.

“The baby was branded with the hot metal after six days of birth. She was taken to hospital after a week. She was in a very critical stage as she had problem in breathing.The baby was also unable to take food,” Dr Dharanidhar Satpathy, paediatric specialist at te district headquarters hospital, said.

On the other hand local people alleged lack of medical facilities led to such incidents.

“We are lacking adequate medical facilities. The infant’s life could have been saved if doctors are available in the nearby hospital”, a local said.

Meanwhile, Nabarangpur collector formed a 5-member committee to probe the matter and to take legal action against the culprit.

“We have formed a committee to conduct an inquiry on the activities of all village quacks in the district and their treatment process. Action will be taken against them after the probe”, said Suresh Patnaik, district child welfare officer.

Notably, a 22-day-old baby boy of Badiguda village under Borrigumma block of Koraput district was also branded with hot iron rod by village quack as part of treatment earlier this month.