Jaundice grips school hostel; 2 inmates dead, 25 affected

G Udaygiri: Two hostel inmates of a government girls’ high school, run by the ST/SC development department, at Lingagada under this block in Kandhamal district died of jaundice while 25 others have been affected by the disease, according to a report.

Though the girls died last week, the matter came to light Thursday.

The deceased were identified as Amisha Pradhan, a Class VIII student of Kurmingia village in Kalinga panchayat and Kanchan Digal, a Class VI student of Kilapanga.

Headmaster Sanjiv Kumar Nayak said both the students were taken to their homes by their families and they died there.  The school authorities got the news of the deaths late, Nayak added.

However, Amisha’s father Sikarbhanja Pradhan said he had brought his daughter from the hostel in a critical condition. She was first taken to a local CHC and later to MKCG Medical College and Hospital in Berhampur.

The MKCG authorities again referred the case to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack as the patient’s condition worsened.

The school authorities were informed immediately after she died August 3 in Cuttack but none from the school turned up, Sikarbhanja claimed. Some teachers and staff came on the seventh day ritual of Amisha and handed over a sum of Rs 2,000 to the family, he added.

The case of Kanchan was no different as the school authorities didn’t take any responsibility and allowed her to go home where she died, it was learnt.

Meanwhile, 20 more inmates of the hostel were brought to G Udaygiri CHC Thursday for examination after they complained of fever and cough. Two of them were found suffering from jaundice. The number of jaundice affected students of the hostel has now increased to 25 with these two cases, hospital sources said.

On the other hand, locals demanded the district administration should facilitate treatment of the girls instead of sending them home.

As jaundice is a waterborne disease, drinking water should be disinfected before being consumed by the inmates and proper hygiene should be maintained on the hostel premises, said Basant Pradhan, a former principal.

When contacted, district welfare officer G Bharimalla admitted the deaths of the students and assured to keep track of the health of the students who returned home after suffering from the disease.  PNN

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