THE parents of a nearly 2-month-old baby who died earlier this month after receiving a standard vaccination at a health centre in Svay Rieng province said they had agreed to accept 700,000 riels (US$168) from health officials.
Chhun Phally, 27, the baby’s father, said he and his wife had met with five health officials on Tuesday to negotiate the payment.
“They gave us 700,000 riels for my baby’s funeral. It is not for compensation,” he said, adding that he had originally been hoping to receive as much as 3 million riels.
“I agreed to accept because I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on this problem anymore, and at first I thought they would not agree to give us anything because they would be afraid that they would need to do the same thing if this happened again.”
The baby boy died on March 11, one day after he was injected with a tuberculosis vaccination at the Kra Sang health centre in Svay Rieng’s Romeas Hek district.
Pen Sona, the director of the provincial health department, said at the time that the baby had died not as a result of the vaccination but because of the parents’ “carelessness”, and that they should have brought the baby back to the health centre when his temperature rose after receiving the shot.
On Tuesday, he said officials had agreed to pay the 700,000 riels in order to resolve the matter swiftly.
“Actually, we don’t have a lot of money to spend on this death case, but we agreed to spend this because we don’t want to take time with them anymore,” he said.
He reiterated that the health workers had not been at fault in the child’s death.