12-year-old Bantu, the son of a farmer from Uttar Pradesh and who lost a leg to cancer, succumbed to dengue a fortnight ago in Delhi. The capital, which is battling one of the worst seasons of the dengue outbreak, has already registered over 1900 cases and at least 17 deaths in the past month.
Bantu, the son of a landless farmer from UP, was admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences after he started experiencing severe pain in his leg, where he was diagnosed with cancer.
After the chemotherapy, surgery and getting a prosthetic leg fixed, Bantu and his family vanished over five months ago.
“We were not surprised when we could not trace him, because most poor patients who come to us get a SIM card in Delhi and turn it off when they go back. But we were hopeful that Bantu’s family would contact us during the scheduled follow-ups,” Professor of Orthopaedics Dr Shah Alam Khan, who performed Bantu’s operation, told The Indian Express.
But when the hospital did manage to find Bantu, it was in the Dengue Ward in the Emergency Department at AIIMS.
“It is shocking. After putting up such a fight, Bantu became a dengue death statistic. We don’t know if he could have recovered. We learnt that he had come back to Delhi for a visit and contracted dengue. He died in the ward,” he added.
Khan added that Bantu had just about adjusted to his prosthetic leg after his bone cancer surgery and may have contracted dengue during a follow-up visit.
Meanwhile, to fight the dengue outbreak, the Delhi government has opened 'Fever Clinics' to treat those hit, and launched a 24X7 helpline to deal with the situation. The government has also ordered an extra 1,000 beds for public hospitals to treat dengue patients. They have ordered all government blood banks to stock adequate quantity of platelets and blood and directed private blood banks to ensure their availability at nominal rates.
Officials said the Government has directed its hospitals to cancel leave of all doctors, nurses and para-medics in view of the situation.