Health Department admits to 90 newborn deaths in Kolar hospital since January

Venting their ire: Protesters gheraoed Meera C. Saxena, chairperson of the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, during her visit to the Kolar hospital on Wednesday.  

Denying allegations of negligence by doctors in the SNR District Hospital in Kolar where three newborn deaths have been reported since Monday, the Health Department on Wednesday attributed the deaths to “congenital anomalies and low birth weight”.

Admitting that the hospital had recorded 90 infant deaths since this January, the department, in a six-page report submitted to the Chief Minister, said this was in proportion to the increase in the number of deliveries in the hospital this year. From 150 deliveries a month in 2015, the hospital is now conducting 350 deliveries. The hospital had recorded 82 infant deaths in 2016.

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah sought a detailed report about the cases from the Health Department.

“We have sufficient staff in the hospital. Four paediatricians are working in the hospital and there is no dearth of drugs and equipment. Children born with congenital anomaly and low birth weight carry the risk of mortality,” the report said.

Meanwhile, chiefs of a number of panels concerned with human rights and child rights visited the hospital to take stock of the situation, and several organisations held protests condemning the alleged government apathy.

Meera C. Saxena, chairperson, Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, visited the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of the hospital and inspected facilities, including incubators and oxygen supply. “We want to prevent repetition of Gorakhpur tragedy,” Ms. Saxena told reporters. The commission sought the detailed case histories of the pregnant women whose newborns died in the hospital, she said.

Kripa Alva, chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, who also visited the hospital, stressed on the need for giving attention to providing nutrient food for women to prevent malnourishment-related infant deaths.

No power during inspection

The issue of power supply at the SNR District Hospital in Kolar district government hospital came to the fore during the visit of the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission chairperson. There was no power supply when the chairperson, Meera C. Saxena, entered the hospital premises on Wednesday.

The commission authorities inspected the facilities in the dark. Though there was a generator, it was put off as it had run for long time as there was no power supply since morning. The commission chief directed the officials to have a back-up generator.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 1:20:05 AM |

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