Day after mid-day meal deaths, vitamin A dose kills child in Bihar

Another incident of poisoning caused by mid-day meal reported from Bihar's Madhubani district

By Alok Gupta
Published: Thursday 18 July 2013

Barely 24 hours after 22 children died of poisoning after consuming the mid-day meal served at a primary school in Chapra district of Bihar, one child died and 20 were admitted to hospital after being administered date expired vitamin A dose in Gaya district in the state.

Around 40 children of Bigha village were administered vitamin A dose at the primary health centre. A few hours after being administered the dose, 18 children complained of numbness. They were rushed to a local hospital for treatment. Raushan (7) died during the course of the treatment.

Administration officials refused to speak on the matter. A team of doctors has been rushed to the village to take stock of the situation. A medical officer posted near Bigha village claimed that it is suspected that children were administered expired doses of vitamin A.

Meanwhile, there was another incident of poisoning caused by mid-day meal, this time in Madhubani district. Around 54 school children of a government run middle school in Nurchak village were rushed to hospital after they consumed mid-day meal accidentally cooked with a lizard.

The students who complained of nausea were taken to the primary health centre. Around 51 students were released after being administered medical aid.

Blame game over mid-meal deaths

The Union government has, meanwhile, asked the Bihar government to submit a detailed report on the death of 22 school children after consuming poisonous mid-day meal on Tuesday in Chapra.
Education minister P K Shahi told reporters that the deaths were the result of insecticide or pesticide used for preserving food grains in a container. He asserted that unscrupulous elements were involved in poisoning the free lunch given to school children in Chapra district.

Aggrieved parents and local people, shocked over the death of children, torched vehicles in Chapra; a group of women ransacked the office of the education department. The principal of the primary school is absconding.

The Opposition parties have accused education minister Shahi of not providing immediate medical facility to the ailing children. BJP’s senior leader Shahnawaz Hussain criticised the government for not air-lifting the seriously ill school children to Patna Medical College and Hospital.

The children were brought to PMCH a day after the incident. Hussain claimed that delay in transferring seriously ill kids to a better hospital doubled the death toll.


Minutes of the meeting of the Programme Approval Board - Mid Day Meal held on 23.04.2013

PAISA District Surveys Mid-Day Meal Scheme (2012)

Mid Day Meal Scheme in India: Origin and Implementation

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