16 cases of dextromethorphan poisoning were reported in Kalawati Sharan Children Hospital after Mohalla Clinic doctors prescribed dextromethorphan for children. This medicine is not for paediatric use.
Cases of gross medical negligence have come to light from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s much publicised Mohalla Clinics. A total of 16 cases of dextromethorphan poisoning were reported from Kalawati Sharan Children Hospital in New Delhi. Out of it, three children lost their lives. Some doctors at the Delhi government’s Mohalla Clinics prescribed dextromethorphan to young children when it is clearly mentioned that dextromethorphan is not for paediatric use.
After the investigation report came in, the Union Health Ministry wrote a letter to the Director Health Services of the Delhi government asking it to write letters to all the Mohalla Clinics not to prescribe dextromethorphan for children below four years of age. It also asked the director to withdraw the doses of dextromethorphan manufactured by Omega Pharma.
The Bharatiya Janata Party’s national social media head, Amit Malviya, criticised Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for mismanaging Mohalla Clinics. He posted on Twitter, “16 cases of Dextromethorphan poisoning reported in Delhi’s Kalawati Saran Children Hospital, 3 dead because the unqualified doctors at Arvind Kejriwal’s hyped Mohalla Clinic prescribed this drug, which is NOT to be administered to children below 4. Kejriwal has blood on (his) hands.”
The Mayo Clinic explicitly says dextromethorphan use is not recommended for “children and infants up to 4 years of age”. This medicine is used to relieve cough and cold symptoms but only for children above four years.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's much-hyped Mohalla Clinics are small one-room clinics that provide basic healthcare services. It was reported that many Mohalla Clinics were facing medicine and doctor shortages.