Dharmapuri, Nov 18: Four more new born infants, out of which three were girls, dies in a government hospital in Dharmapuri within 12 hours on Monday. The death toll has now increased to 10 in just four days.
Despite, hospital authorities claiming to step up the medical facilities of the hospital, things do not seem to change at all.
"All the four kids were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit of the hospital in a critical condition. We gave the infants the best care available. But they did not respond to the treatment and succumbed," Dr M. Elangovan, Dean in-charge of the hospital said.
All the dead infants were between 2 to 25 days old and their mothers were in their early 20s, but were frail and severely malnourished, claimed doctors.
Meanwhile, the State Government assigned two senior doctors with experience in handling newborns to assess the situation. The base team would comprise S. Srinivasan, coordinator, State Nodal Centre-National Rural Health Mission at the Institute of Child Health, and neonatologist R. Narayana Babu, dean of the Tiruvannamalai Medical College. Dr Babu had a history of saving a 670 gram baby, during his tenure in the Coimbatore Government Hospital. Later, he helped in establishing the intensive care unit for children at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital.
Dr Srinivasan said,"Of the 11 babies that died, seven were referred from other hospitals. The babies that had died were immature and had not developed fully. Yesterday, three babies were put on ventilators. Tamil Nadu's neonatal mortality rate is 14.5 per 1,000 live births, far below the national average of 29." The Healthcare department is also looking at the functioning of the primary health centres and the integrated child development services centres.
It was deciphered that despite providing supplemental nutrition, the haemoglobin count of some mothers was as low as 8.
Health Secretary J. Radhakrishnan said,"We are also looking at the comprehensive larger goal, including the social issue, facility audit and the status of nutrition of women." Incidentally, it is said that the very same hospital treated 40 underweight babies and discharged them so far. DR Radhakrishnan said,"It is not that the hospital has been a poor performer. The initial report from Dr. Srinivasan is that there is no problem with protocol or any other medical-related reasons."
The State has 44 neonatal intensive care units and 114 newborn stabilisation units.