RSRM Hospital's neonatal ICU renovated

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: In the 1880s, Rajah Sir Ramaswamy Mudaliar was going past Pophams Broadway from Tiruvottriyur to his office by coach when he saw women holding up sarees on the road.

Curious, he stopped to find out what was happening and learnt that the sarees were shielding a woman in labour who could not be taken to the hospital.

This sight led him to set up the Rajah Sir Ramaswamy Mudaliar Lying-in Hospital, popularly known as the RSRM Hospital, opposite the Arignar Anna Poonga on Cemetery Road in Royapuram.

More that a hundred years later, the hospital is still treating women and delivering babies. On Wednesday, the hospital's renovated neonatal intensive care unit was inaugurated. The unit was renovated with funds from People for People, a social welfare organisation based in Sowcarpet.

S. Devambigai, Superintendent of the hospital, said the renovated unit contains a septic ward to treat newborn babies with sepsis, a ventilator room with a new ventilator sanctioned by the Government, costing Rs. 6 lakhs, and a term and pre-term ward for premature babies.

Speaking about the Kangaroo Mother Care room, Dr. Devambigai said: "In well-developed countries, hospitals can afford 30 baby warmers. But here the natural method of bundling the baby close to the mother's breast to keep it warm allowing for skin contact is ensured for both term and pre-term babies."

The ward was renovated at a cost of around Rs. 2 lakhs.

The hospital takes care of around 12,000 to 13,000 deliveries per year. The patients are from the lower economic strata from North Chennai. "One of the major problems of mothers in this region is anaemia," the doctor said. While over 50 per cent of the out patient cases had anaemia, over 70 per cent of the mothers coming in for delivery were anaemic. "Though the Government is providing iron supplements, the women refuse to take it, as they believe myths such as the baby will be born dark or large and the delivery will not be normal," she said. The hospital has an outreach programme to supply iron and de-worming tablets to check adolescent anaemia.

Besides the neo-natal ward, the hospital has also renovated its C and A class wards for paying patients.

T. Raveendran, Dean, Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital, Sanghvi B. Milapchand Jain, president, Shree Chandraprabhu Jain College, R. Babulal Munoth, trustee, Shree Chandraprabhu Jain Naya Mandir Trust and Sangvi Jhummarlal M. Jain, joint secretary of the trust, M. Ramesh Kumar, honorary secretary of People for People and S. Thayumanavan, Professor of Paediatrics were among those who participated in the participated in the opening of the renovated unit.

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