‘Mortality averages 50-60 children a month’
Hundreds of children have died in the G B Pant children hospital in the last few months due to ‘lack of infection control measures’ with majority of deaths currently reported at the hospital attributed to ‘severe infections’ among infants and birth trauma caused due to ‘faulty deliveries.’
Official records revealed that currently 40-50 deaths are reported at the hospital in a month due to severe infections and birth trauma.
“The deaths at the hospital take place within 6-hours to 5 days of the admission and 2 to 3 children continue to die daily at the hospital,” the records further said.
Officials said that the maximum number of deaths reported at the hospital have taken place due to birth asphyxia, followed by that of sepsis and low birth weight. “Severe sepsis (infection) has been the cause of deaths at the hospital while large number of deaths is due to birth asphyxia,” said officials, adding, “While lack of proper sanitation and overcrowding has contributed to the high mortality, mishandling of deliveries particularly in rural areas also caused death of a large number of children after being admitted at the hospital.”
The government records note, “the infections immediately after the child birth due to unhygienic delivery environment as well as birth trauma caused due to temporary stopping of oxygen supply to the brain of child during the birth owing to non availability of trained attendant are major causes of child deaths.”
The hospital administration has suggested to the government that “the facilities in the peripheral hospitals are insufficient which need to be strengthened at the level of sub centres, community health centres, sub district hospitals and district hospitals. Presence of a trained nurse, lady doctor should be ensured at all levels of health care delivery.”
Officials said the over-crowding poses grave risk to new born babies. “Even the children wards at the hospital remain highly crowded with people, posing risk to the new born babies,” said an official.
Despite repeated attempts, Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr Muneer Masoodi was not available for comments.