Lucknow. Days after 60 children, including 34 infants, died at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur after a private supplier allegedly cut the oxygen supply over unpaid bills, the savior of children Dr Kafeel Ahmed Khan was denounced on social media in a “smear campaign” against him.
Dr Kafeel Ahmed Khan, who was initially hailed as a hero on social media for spending his own money and to arrange oxygen cylinders as children in his ward collapsed, has now been removed as the Nodal Officer for BRD Medical College’s Department of Pediatrics.
Dr. Khan told the media that he was being targeted.
“It’s a smear campaign against me. I was only trying to help the children. I did everything from getting in touch with oxygen firms to ensuring prompt help to patients,” the Times of India quoted him saying. Dr Khan has charged over dereliction of duty, and allegation that he ran a private clinic.
“I have seen campaigns on WhatsApp and Facebook targeting me for being a Muslim, I’d like to tell them, I am an Indian first, and what I did, I did because I am a doctor,” he said.
A pediatrician at Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College has been hailed a hero as he saved lives of many children in the Gorakhpur tragedy.
What Dr Kafeel Khan did?
Dr Kafeel Khan, the head of the encephalitis ward and a pediatrician, managed to save many lives. The parents of hospitalized children said that had it not been for Khan’s work, the number of deaths in the past 48 hours would be more than 36.
On the night of August 10, the central oxygen pipeline in the college premises started beeping, indicating low supply of the gas. The doctors and hospital staff knew that the supply could be maintained through emergency cylinders, but only for two hours. Khan knew that uninterrupted oxygen to critically ill children was the only life-saving medicine, to save lives of those suffering from encephalitis.
The suppliers denied to send the oxygen cylinder until their dues are clear and the refusal caused panic in the hospital. Mr. Khan did not lose hope. He drove two hospitals employees in his car to his friend’s private nursing home and borrowed three oxygen cylinders.
Before leaving the hospital, he had given standing instructions to junior doctors on duty and paramedical staff to keep pumping Ambu bags if the oxygen supply further reduced in the central pipeline.
After getting the three cylinders Mr. Khan rushed back to BRD Hospital. However, the oxygen content in the cylinders was enough only to provide half an hour of supply in the central pipeline.
Around 6 am several critical children were developing convulsions for want of oxygen so, he went to other hospital for arranging the cylinders.
The child specialist made four trips to the hospital and collected 12 cylinders to ferry these cylinders for children admitted in his ward.
When he returned to the hospital, he was informed that a local supplier was ready to supply oxygen cylinders on cash payment. Dr Khan gave his ATM debit card to one of his employees and withdrew Rs 10,000 to bring in more oxygen for patients. He also paid for diesel and other expenses to truck drivers who brought fresh supplies from Faizabad.
An eye witness Gaurav Tripathi said, “Dr. behaved like a savior for the children by his efforts and presence of mind. Instead of giving fake hope he managed the situation well by arranging oxygen cylinders from private nursing homes.”
Credits- The leaders News