As the Rajasthan government faces heat for the unprecedented number of infant deaths recorded from Kota's KJ Lone Hospital, The Hindu has reported number of infant deaths from two civil hospitals in Gujarat just in the month of December (2019) and it's even more worrisome with 219 deaths.
According to the report, 134 infants deaths were reported in December in Rajkot civil hospital while in Ahmedabad civil hospital 85 deaths were reported in the same month. The report further added that in the last three months, 253 infants died in Rajkot civil hospital, which is the largest government hospital in Gujarat.
Speaking to news agency ANI, GS Rathod, the superintendent of Ahmedabad Civil Hospital said that in the month of December alone, 455 newborns were admitted in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital of which 85 have died. He further stated that more than 400 children are admitted to the hospital every month, with a death rate of 20 percent.
"There is no lack of facilities here, children from private hospitals and other government hospitals are sent to the government hospital in critical condition. Every month about 400 children are admitted to the hospital, out of which 80 percent children are treated well and are healthy," Rathod told News18.
But the News18 report also said that parents of most children who are admitted in the hospital are unhappy about the facilities, standard of doctors and blamed the negligence of hospital administration for these deaths.
Meanwhile, in Rajkot, Manish Mehta, Dean of Rajkot Civil Hospital confirmed that as many as 111 children have died in the month of December in the hospital. According to multiple reports, as many as 1,235 children have died in Rajkot in the year 2019 with December recording the highest deaths of new-born babies, while October witnessing the second-highest with 131 deaths.
Mehta told PTI, "As per official records, 71 infants died at Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Hospital in Rajkot in November and 87 in October last year." He said the rise in infant deaths at the hospital in December was mainly due to an increase in the number of referral patients with serious ailments.
Mehta defended the hospital in a comment, as quoted by Zee News, saying that it was "tough to save those children who are underweight".
As soon as the news of deaths surfaced in media, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who hails to Rajkot, refused to respond to questions about the number of deaths and walked off.
— ANI (@ANI) January 5, 2020
According to reports, here are many factors that have contributed to infant mortality, these deaths indicate a shortage of medical staff in government hospitals and the collapse of primary health care services in the state.
Reacting to the figures, state Health Minister Nitin Patel said the infant mortality rate is 30 per 1,000. "Every year 12 lakh infants are born. Of these, 30 out of every 1,000 infants die due to malnutrition, pre-mature delivery, or because the mothers are not able to reach hospital in time," the minister said.
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Updated Date: Jan 05, 2020 16:14:37 IST