A paediatrician at the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College where 36 children died in just 48 hours due to encephalitis, has been hailed as a hero. According to reports, had it not been for Dr Kafeel Khan, the death toll would have been much higher.
The chief of the encephalitis ward of the hospital borrowed three oxygen cylinder from a private nursing home to continue the supply of oxygen to the children.
A report in DNA notes how the doctor managed to save the lives of many children in this hospital.
On the night of August 10, when there was low supply of oxygen, the doctors and hospital staff knew that it would only last for another two hours. That wouldn't be enough.
When the hospital staff called the suppliers, they refused to send in oxygen before the hospital cleared their dues. Khan, then, decided to take matter in his own hands.
The report notes how the doctor drove to a private nursing home to borrow oxygen cylinders.
At 6 am, when many children were critical due to lack of oxygen, the doctor went to other nursing homes to find more oxygen cylinders. Throughout the night, he drove around and collected as many as 12 oxygen cylinders from the private nursing homes.
When he found out a local supplier who was willing to supply oxygen cylinders, Dr Khan used his own debit card to make a payment of Rs 10,000 to bring in oxygen for the patients.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government has said that the deaths did not occur due to shortage of oxygen.
The government suspended Rajeev Mishra, principal of the college, for negligence in delaying the release of payment to the supplier of oxygen to the hospital, and ordered a high-level inquiry. Sixty children have died in five days at a hospital in Gorakhpur - the district chief minister Yogi Adityanath has represented in parliament for nearly 20 years.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that a variety of ailments, not a cut in the supply of oxygen, had led to the deaths. "It is a very emotional matter for me as I have been raising the issue of encephalitis for so long... it would be despicable if oxygen shortage caused the deaths," the chief minister said.