On the eve of Children’s Day, disturbing news has emerged from Delhi hospitals. The death rate of newborns in the Capital’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital (LNJP) is about seven times higher than that of the national Neonatal Motility Rate (3.7 per cent) and 14 times more than that of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (1.8 per cent).
About 21 per cent of newborns and 30 per cent of referral newborns in LNJP have died since 1 January 2006, the hospital, informed NGO Uday Foundation, in a reply to a Right to Information
The NGO had filed the RTI in LNJP, Safdarjung Hospital, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and AIIMs, asking similar questions about the status of newborn babies.
Of the 2,246 children born in LNJP from 2006 till October this year, 476 died, with 24 per cent being because of septicemia.
In case of newborns referred from other hospitals, the death rate was about 30 per cent. The hospital, however, said these babies were brought in a very bad medical condition and it was the primary cause of high NMR.
AIIMS, which also receives high referral newborns, reported NMR of just 1.8 per cent. “This is despite AIIMS catering to high-risk newborns referred to the hospital,” the hospital said in its RTI reply.
Of the 5,402 babies (referred and newborns) only 107 died between 2006 and October 2008, indicating high quality childcare.
In Safdarjung Hospital, 14.1 per cent of 9,423 babies admitted in the newborn childcare unit died, with 40 per cent dying of septicemia, an infection of blood.
Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital reported best neonatal care, with NMR of less than 1 per cent. The rate of referrals was close to 10 per cent.
The RTI replies also revealed inadequate facilities for newborns in both LNJP and Safdarjung, where over 1,000 patients are registered in newborn intensive care units every year.