Today in New Delhi, India
Nov 20, 2018-Tuesday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

No hospital in Gorakhpur, nearby districts to manage encephalitis, finds IMA

More than 60 children died in a week since August 9 in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College, and the government attributed most of the fatalities to Japanese encephalitis.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2017 21:47 IST
Rhythma Kaul
Rhythma Kaul
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gorakhpur tragedy,Gorakhpur,encephalitis
A woman tends to her child inside the encephalitis ward at BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur. (Deepak Gupta/ HT photo)

A team from the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has found there is no hospital in Gorakhpur and nearby districts in Uttar Pradesh to manage encephalitis, a disease that affects the brain.

The report assumes significance in the wake of more than 60 child deaths in a week since August 9 in Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College.

The government attributed most of the fatalities to Japanese encephalitis amid allegations that the children died because the hospital’s oxygen supply was cut over a payment dispute with the private supplier.

In a statement on Friday, the IMA said it took cognizance of the seriousness of the Gorakhpur tragedy, which killed more than 30 children in 48 hours, and constituted an independent inquiry committee.

“…although there is no evidence of medical clinical negligence against Dr Rajiv Mishra and Dr Kafeel Khan, prima facie it appears that a case of administrative negligence against them cannot be ruled out. Hence, administrative inquiry and action may be taken against them,” it said.

IMA team report
  • Oxygen supply was interrupted for a short time on the night of August 10
  • The liquid oxygen supplier wasn’t paid dues for 5-6 months
  • Cleanliness of hospital and wards was unsatisfactory. Presence of dogs and rats in hospitals is not acceptable
  • The hospital was handling patients much more than its capacity
  • There is no facility in Gorakhpur and nearby districts to manage encephalitis
  • There is a lack of staff such as paediatricians, nurses and other paramedical staff in hospitals
  • ICUs in 10 districts of Poorvanchal area are not functioning because of lack of staff and resources
  • No alert was issued by the hospital administration regarding shortage of oxygen

The committee asked the doctors at BRD Medical College to join the inquiry and to present their case. But none of them showed up.

“The team decided to visit the department of pediatrics… People there were hesitant to speak. The scope of the committee was to only examine the working of the doctors as other issues such as lack of oxygen, inadequate staff and any structural deficiency were being investigated by the chief secretary, UP government,” the statement said.

The team included KP Kushwaha, a former principal and head of paediatrics at BRD Medical College, Ashok Agarwal, the IMA vice president, and BB Gupta, president of the IMA’s Gorakhpur branch.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 21:47 IST