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Child Dies After Meal, Vitamin Dose

A six-year-old girl died and five children were taken ill after taking mid-day meal and a spoonful of Vitamin A at their government school here.//

The meal Friday was given as part of the national child nutrition programme aimed at preventing blindness. The children, aged five to seven, are from the government-run primary school in Chitwapur locality.

One of the sick children is in serious condition and has been put on ventilator. The others are on way to recovery, Lucknow Chief Medical Officer K.K. Singh told IANS Saturday. "One child's condition was deteriorating. He is on the ventilator and we are hopeful of saving him," he said.

"It is difficult to say at this stage whether the kids took ill on account of the mid-day meal or vitamin syrup. But it cannot be denied that they had fallen victim to some kind of contamination that led to poisoning," he stated. The dead girl, Mansi, was living with her mother as her parents had separated. Her father told IANS: "After I got information about Mansi's illness upon her return from school, I saw her lying on the floor in a semi-conscious state with froth oozing from her mouth. She had been in that state for quite sometime and it was already evening. We rushed her to the civil hospital, where she died two hours later."

K.K. Singh said: "The Vitamin A drops were from the reputed Nicholas Piramal pharmaceuticals and the printed expiry date was 2008. We have seized the entire batch of the syrup." School authorities claimed there was nothing wrong with the meal "as nothing happened to so many other children who consumed the same meal".


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