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UP: Amid Lack of Medical Facilities for Anganwadi Workers, Woman Dies After ‘Wrong’ Injection

The deceased’s family members said that despite working tirelessly and risking her life, the Anganwadi worker died due to the lack of a basic medical facility.

Representational use only.Image Courtesy: Maxpixel

Lucknow: A 48-year-old Anganwadi worker died allegedly after she was administered a “wrong” injection by a quack in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya district on Monday, the police said on Tuesday.

The deceased has been identified as Vinay Kumari, a resident of Bhikhampur in Auraiya. The family members of the woman alleged that Vinay died after the doctor at Anadi Memorial hospital administered the wrong injection to her.

The Anganwadi worker in Auraiya worked at the grassroots level amid the peak of COVID-19. She even participated in door-to-door vaccination drives.

The deceased’s family members said that despite working tirelessly and risking her life, she died due to the lack of basic medical facility, and they demanded compensation.

Veena Gupta, secretary of the All India Federation of Anganwadi Workers and Helpers (AIFAWH) told NewsClick, “It is not an isolated case that Anganwadi worker died due to lack of treatment, but as per government data, 58 scheme workers died alone during the second wave of Covid-19 in the state in the absence of money. We have been demanding an Ayushman card for them for the last many years, but it is unfortunate the government is not paying heed towards our demand.”

Gupta noted that the government is using the services of Anganwadi workers and Asha workers but not providing any facilities to them. “Medical facilities are basic rights of these workers but the state government is not taking care of their lives,” she said.

The family members of the deceased told NewsClick that Vinay Kumari had been suffering from typhoid fever for the last few weeks. Seeing no improvement in her health, on February 1, they were going to the district hospital for better treatment. However, a quack doctor and his son, who run a medical store, allegedly stopped them and suggested admitting Kumari to the Anadi Memorial Hospital near Isha Vatika. “He said the treatment is expensive there, but she would be fine soon. But the demand for money kept increasing soon after admitting her,” the family members said.

Her husband, Anil Rajput, said, “It was the hospital’s fault. After she was administered the injection, she became really weak. She was lying in my lap, and she passed away hours after the hospital referred her to the mini PGI in Saifai. She kept saying she was not feeling well right after the injection. When I called the doctor, he said it was usual and there was nothing to worry about.”

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Officer described it as an “isolated” case and said action will be taken against anyone found guilty. 

He said he has taken serious note of the matter and directed the officials to order an inquiry and send him the report within 24 hours.

Gupta further said, “During the pandemic, the government launched an aggressive Covid vaccination drive to meet its target, Asha workers along with Anganwadi workers, played a major role in the mass mobilisation of the unvaccinated by going door to door like they do in any government health programme. Their efforts helped the local administration in a big way, but at the end of the day, the scheme workers living in penury and not able to bear the expense of health.”

She added, “An Anganwadi worker in the state gets around Rs 6,000 per month, and they are dependent on the salary. But they have not been paid honorariums for the last three-four months and living in poverty.”

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