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Boy languishes, insects keep popping out

Burdwan, June 23: Visibly ailing, Chandan Goswami, the boy whose body has been invaded by an insect, faces an uncertain future with the doctors at Burdwan Medical College Hospital providing no indication about when he could return home.

Injured while a cystoscopy was being performed on him last week, 13-year-old Chandan has been bleeding since then. The doctors had washed his urinary tract with ether and chloroform in an effort to rid him of the insect, whose identity is still being debated by entomologists in Calcutta’s School of Tropical Medicine and those in the university here.

Chandan’s condition, known as myiasis, is prevalent in south and central America. Two more insects emerged from his urinary tract last night, indicating that the wash did not do the trick.

With their son’s condition taking a beating, Chandan’s parents have been urging the doctors here to shift him to a hospital in Calcutta. “We had brought our son to the hospital to get him cured but 16 days have gone by and he is getting worse. We had asked the doctors to shift him to SSKM Hospital in Calcutta, but got no response,” said Chandan’s mother Alpana Goswami.

Acting principal of the medical college Udayan Ganguly said Chandan suffered a “minor” injury during cystoscopy, which is “quite normal” during the procedure, and he will recover soon. But nurses attending on him said he has been bleeding continuously.

Director of medical education Chittaranjan Maity has formed a seven-member medical board to “speed up” treatment.

By all indications, the boy is set to be in the hospital here for at least another week. With news spreading of this rare case of myiasis, physicians have been turning up beside his bed, asking questions and going through the case history. “This is a rare case and we are trying to co-ordinate over the Internet with doctors abroad who have experience with myiasis. We are also bringing our students to see the case,” Ganguly said.

He added that Maity had instructed the hospital to get the medical students to examine the case. Even students of zoology in the university here have been visiting the boy as has a research fellow from Hooghly Mohsin College.

Chandan has been shifted from the emergency ward to the technical block in the medical college’s new building and there is much less intrusion of outsiders here. Curious outsiders and the relatives of fellow patients had been harassing him earlier.

“We are providing the boy with accommodation, medicines and food free of charge. I am paying for the medicines that need to be procured from outside, the family has no reason to feel disturbed, I will pay for his treatment,” said Sudhansu Pan, the surgeon under whom Chandan has been admitted.

“I have not been to school for nearly a month and I have not met my friends. I do not know whether they will speak to me,” a tearful Chandan said.

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