Even as the deaths of infants are rising in Rajasthan's Kota government hospital , their numbers which surfaced from two of Gujarat’s civil hospitals in Rajkot and Ahmedabad are more shocking: 219 deaths in December.
In Rajkot, 134 infants died in December while in Ahmedabad civil hospital there were 85 deaths in the same month but in last three months, 253 infants died in the civil hospital, the State’s largest government hospital. All figures of new born babies deaths are from civil hospitals of Ahmedabad and Rajkot.
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The numbers were more shocking in Rajkot civil hospital; as many as 1,235 infants deaths were reported in 2019. December saw the highest deaths of new-born babies while with 131 deaths, October saw the second highest in the year.
As soon as the data of deaths surfaced in media and social media, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who is from Rajkot, refused to respond and walked off when presspersons asked him about large number of deaths of new-born babies in government hospitals.
Meanwhile, according to the State government officials, civil hospital in Rajkot caters to several districts so the number is higher and also the number of deliveries go up in November and December.
Among the many factors that have contributed to infant mortality are shortage of medical staff at government hospitals and complete collapse of primary health care services in the State.