Jhabua (Madhya Pradesh): Three children aged two to seven months were brought to the district hospital's Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) in critical condition after being branded by the 'occultist' in their village.
According to information, before being taken to the hospital, family members, including their tribal parents, took them to the occultist in anticipation that the primitive treatment would cure their illness; however, after branding with hot irons, their condition deteriorated, and they were finally taken to the district hospital in a critical condition.
All the kids were admitted to the district hospital with burn marks on their chest and belly.
It’s a common practice among tribals to brand people suffering from diseases, and the technique is called “Damna”. Locals claimed that when the children got cold, they treated them at home, when the cold worsened and they got pneumonia, instead of taking them to the hospital, they took them to an occultist.
Family members refuse to disclose information about occultist
This occult usually brands the kids with hot iron bars. When the children reached near death, family members brought them to the hospital.
In the fresh cash of three kids, their respective family members are not ready to disclose where they took their kids or reveal information about the occult, fearing it could bring more complications for them.
Doctors treating the kids said one of the kids who was brought from Pilyakhdan village is seven months old. He had been sick for about 20 days, and his parents brought him to the hospital on Thursday. Similarly, another kid who was brought from Hadmatiya village is just seven months old, and he was branded seven times. Another kid who was brought from Samoi village, is just six months old.
Cases increase in the season of cold and flu
Apart from these three children, two other kids are undergoing treatment at the sickle cell ward and the Nutrition Rehabilitation Center (NRC).
The special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) in charge, Dr IS Chauhan here in the district hospital, claimed that more than 30 such cases come to the district hospital annually, especially in the season of cold and flu.
These children are patients with pneumonia. When pneumonia increases in children, there is difficulty in breathing due to phlegm and the child starts panting.
In tribal areas, tribal people call this condition Hafaliya, and they visit Tantrik for its treatment. By the time these children are brought to the district hospital, their condition has worsened. First of all, they need oxygen. They start recovering after getting oxygen and treatment according to the protocol.