90 infant deaths since January: Is this Karnataka's Gorakhpur hospital?
A hospital in Kolar district of Karnataka has registered 90 infant deaths since January by health department's own admission. Yet, in a report filed to the government, the department has said that there has been no negligence on the hospital's part.
Death of three infants since Monday at the SNR District Hospital in Kolar triggered panic. Following protests by the kin of the deceased infants and media reports on the severity of the situation, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah sought a report. Despite 90 infants dying at the hospital in just eight months, the department has given a clean chit to the hospital. Incidentally, the hospital recorded 82 death in 2016 but this year in a span of just eight months 90 newborn deaths have been registered.
In a six-page report to the government, the health department has held the increase in the number of deliveries at the hospital for the rise in the number of infant deaths. "We have sufficient staff in the hospital. Four paediatricians are working in the hospital and there is no dearth of drugs and equipment. Children born with a congenital anomaly and low birth weight carry the risk of mortality," the report says.
However, a power cut during inspection by Karnataka State Human Rights Commission chairperson exposed the apathy at the hospital. The generator had stopped functioning and there was no other backup. Karnataka Health department officials claim the infant mortality rate is 13 per 1,000 live births compared to the national rate of 28. 90 of the 1,053 newborns admitted to Sri Narasimharaja District Hospital in Kolar died this year alone.
The health department officials maintained that out of the three infant deaths reported on Monday, one died due to a congenital anomaly and the other two due to low birth weight.