People in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad fled villages in droves to escape the spread of dengue fever and poor medical facilities.
So far, 10 families of Nagla Amaan village, where the first cases of viral fever were reported last month, have moved out following 12 deaths over the past three weeks, according to Times of India. More than 200 residents in the village are still battling with fever but have no access to medical facilities as the government health center at the village is closed.
“Ten families with five to 10 members each have left the village. The situation is the same in nearby villages. Almost every family in the village has a member suffering from dengue-like fever but proper treatment facilities do not exist,” Anshu Yadav, a grocery shop owner at Nagla Amaan told the newspaper.
Satish Chand, a farmer in the village said people are pawning their jewelry and cattle to raise money for treatment at private hospitals as government hospitals are full.”
Veeresh Kumar, an elder citizen told TOI that people are dying without proper treatment in his village.
“Families are either leaving or sending their children away to protect them,” he said.
Viral fevers, including those caused by dengue, have killed more than 160 including 120 children and adolescents aged between six months and 17 years in about a month in Firozabad.
At least 15,000 people in Firozabad are now bedridden with a viral fever that has the district in its grip, sources say.
‘Our sons, daughters are dying without treatment’
Savanya Gupta, a 5-year-old child died after four hours of waiting to be admitted to the Firozabad Medical College in Uttar Pradesh on Monday afternoon.
Savanya had come in with a high fever and dropping platelet count symptoms of the dengue outbreak.
“We got her to the hospital around 8 am. We said to the hospital staff about her condition but they did nothing. We waited for four hours to get her admitted. She died in front of me. She would have been safe had they been provided treatment on time,” says Ajit Gupta, father of the deceased.
The 5-year-old girl, the family members have alleged, was denied admission despite a raised body temperature.
Many families like Savanya’s had to deal with the fallout of shrinking hospital space as the Yogi Adityanath government has been criticised over its handling of the dengue outbreak in the state.
Reports say that the lack of beds and doctors in government hospitals made matters worse for many. As cases spiked in the district, hospital occupancy also increased, with two or more patients occupying a single bed at the hospitals including Firozabad Medical College.
A five-year-old child suffering from fever breathed his last after waiting for a bed to become available at Firozabad Medical College. Five-year-old Hritik — who was suffering from very high fever — did not receive urgent medical care. He died after waiting for more than five hours for a bed to become available at the medical facility, according to Times Now.
“I requested them (private hospital) to start the treatment and give me a day’s time to arrange the money. But they refused… On Thursday, I took my son to medical college. Here, I waited for a bed. My son died in the afternoon without treatment. Hospital staff handed over the body. There were no arrangements,” Rajkumar said.
In another incident, a local resident Ashok Kumar said his 10-year-old daughter died after she was denied proper treatment.
“My 10-year-old daughter was suffering from high fever for two days. Her condition deteriorated on Saturday. I took her to the Firozabad medical college, but there was no vacant bed. My child died on the way to a hospital in Agra,” he said.