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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

UP: 49 children die in Farrukhabad govt hospital in a month, DM orders probe

Last month, over 300 children died in the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur district. In Farrukhabad, the district magistrate ordered a magisterial inquiry after 19 of his notices to the authorities of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital went unheeded.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2017 23:46 IST
Haidar Naqvi
Haidar Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
A woman holding her child's hand at the encephalitis ward of the Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur on August 14.
A woman holding her child's hand at the encephalitis ward of the Baba Raghav Das Hospital in Gorakhpur on August 14.(AFP File Photo)

Forty-nine newborn children died at the government-run Dr Ram Manohar Lohia hospital in Farrukhabad between July 21 and August 20.

The hospital authorities have blamed most of the deaths on children being extremely underweight and their delayed arrival to the hospital in a critical condition.

A total 30 children died in the sick newly born care unit (SNCU) of the hospital alone. The 19 others died at the time of delivery or soon after delivery at the hospital.

District magistrate Ravindra Kumar has ordered a magisterial inquiry after 19 of his notices to the hospital authorities went unheeded.

“The city magistrate is investigating the deaths of children. His report will come in a day or two,” Kumar said, admitting the number of deaths in a month weren’t without negligence at the hospital.

“The investigation will cover all aspects,” he said.

During this period, 211 children were admitted at SNCU and 30 of them died. Similarly, 461 children were born at the hospital and 19 of them could not survive.

Dr Kailash Kumar, the SNCU in-charge, mentions many reasons for the deaths ranging from children born prematurely to being underweight.

“Mortality in such children is quite high. Often, we get children who weigh less than a kilo or two kilos,” he said.

“At times, the children are born with complications or there is a delay in being referred to the hospital from primary health centres. All these are the reasons,” he said.

But Dr Archana, who works in the hospital’s maternity wing, blamed lack of awareness among the mothers. “They (mothers) are not educated, not aware. Their children have water or blood deficiency but they will not come to know unless the issue becomes complicated,” she said about the deaths of 19 infants under her watch.

“Often they delay the surgery, taking much time in deciding if they should go for it,” she said.

Dr Akhilesh Agarwal, chief medical superintendent of women hospital, explained that 24 of the 30 children who died were born in private hospitals or elsewhere. When they were brought to the government hospital, their condition was already grim, Dr Agarwal said.

The medical authorities, however, skirt questions about the death of 19 children who were born at the hospital. They haven’t responded to 19 notices that the district magistrate’s office sent after reports of children dying in hospital began to surface.

The district magistrate said the hospital couldn’t escape the explanation about the deaths of children born at the hospital.

“Let the city magistrate’s report come in, effective action will be initiated,” he said.

First Published: Sep 01, 2017 23:17 IST

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