WAYANAD: A snake ended the life of a fifth standard student of a government school at Sulthan Bathery on Wednesday triggering an uproar over the negligence of the school authorities and the medical personnel of three hospitals where she was taken.
The authorities concerned suspended a teacher of the school and two doctors of taluk hospitals. The girl, Shehala Sherin, 10, of Sarwajana HSS, is the daughter of Azeez and Shajna, lawyer couple of the district.
She was reportedly bitten by a snake through a hole in the concrete floor of the classroom where she was sitting. The teachers initially told her classmates that it was an injury caused either due to a nail, stone or a similar object. "We asked the teacher on the spot why she could not be taken to a doctor," one of the students told reporters.
"After almost an hour, we saw her feet turn into a blue colour. It was only after that her father reached the school and took her to the hospital," a student said.
"She herself kept telling the teachers that she had been bitten by a snake," another student said.
As Shehala's father reached the school, he saw her sitting in the class with a bandage on her foot. While she was being taken to the Kozhikode Medical College, her condition worsened and was taken to a private hospital at Vythiri, where she died.
Earlier, though one of the teachers insisted on taking the student to a hospital, another teacher P.V. Shijil did not allow it, according to students. The teacher was later suspended by the education department.
Though the doctors of taluk hospital, Sulthan Bathery, confirmed snake bite, instead of administering anti-venom, she was referred to the Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, two-and-a-half hours drive from Sulthan Bathery.
None of the doctors in the hospitals administered her anti-venom citing health complications, according to her father.
The Health Department suspended Dr Jisa Merin Joy of Government Taluk Hospital, Sultan Bathery, pending inquiry in the incident. She was in charge of the casualty at the hospital at the time.
Sherin died by 6 pm at Good Shepherd Hospital, Vythiri, the fourth hospital where she was rushed. Wayanad DMO Dr R. Renuka told reporters that two doctors had been suspended pending inquiry. She said all taluk hospitals have sufficient stock of anti-venom.
Education minister C. Raveendranath asked the director of public instruction to take action against the guilty and submit a report. The department also issued memos to all the teachers of the school over the delay in giving her proper care.
The child rights commission has taken a suo motu case. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also promised action against the guilty.
Some protestors reportedly barged into the school and damaged it....