By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Did cost-cutting measures by the health department led to the death of two infants here recently? The government hospitals, have made it a practice,  to give tablets to patients to save money on syrup and drops.Children below 5-6 years should not be given tablets and only oral medication in the form of drops or syrup should be given.  

The National Health Service of UK mentions that paracetamol tablet should be given to children only above six years.Dr Anuradha Medoju, Senior Regional Director for Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, speaking to Express said, “For children below three years tablets should not be prescribed. Paracetamol syrup is available for children and drops for infants below one month,” she said. “I asked the DMHO about the availability of syrups at Nampally urban primary health centre (UPHC) and was told that it was available.

When paracetamol syrup was available, then why were tablets given?  Tablets are for those who are above five years. Giving tablet, dividing it into four parts is not the right practice,” she said. She said that she has forwarded the details of the case to the Central government and will write as to what action has been taken. 

It took the death of two infants for the Telangana government to wake up from slumber and issue instructions to give paracetamol in the form of drops and syrup to children in the age group of 0-1 year and 1-5 years respectively and ensure syrups and drops are available in all PHCs.