After reports about deaths of over 100 children at a state-run hospital in Rajasthan’s Kota shocked the country, data shows that 111 infants died at a civil hospital in Gujarat’s Rajkot district in December. The data further showed 88 infants died last month at an Ahmedabad civil hospital.
In Ahmedabad, Health Minister Nitin Patel, who shared the shocking data, said cold weather in December was one of the reasons for higher number of deaths in December and added that overall infant mortality had declined in Gujarat.
Of the 388 infants admitted to the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay General Hospital in Rajkot in December last year, 111, or 28 percent, died.
As many as 87 and 71 infants died in October and November last year, which was 19.3 and 15.5 percent of the infants admitted to the hospital’s Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU), respectively, the data showed.
At Ahmedabad civil hospital, 88 infants died in December, which was 21.2 percent of 415 infants admitted.
As many as 91 and 74 infants died in the hospital in October and November, 18.4 and 16.4 percent of the total number of infants admitted, respectively.
Sharing the figures, Patel said that notwithstanding the higher number of deaths in December, the infant mortality in the state had dropped over two decades, from 62 per 1,000 in 1997 to 30 in 2017, with further drop recorded in 2018 and 2019.
West Bengal, Karnataka, Jharkhand, and Telangana have higher infant mortality rate than Gujarat, as per the Centre’s 2017 data, he said. “Infant mortality rate is a matter of concern. The number of deaths rose in December due to the winter season. Lack of public awareness, malnutrition among mothers and pre-natal complications are other reasons,” he added.
“We have set up 41 SNCUs and increased number of seats and colleges for medical education, as shortage of doctors remains a nation-wide problem. The government also provides a monetary incentive to private children’s hospitals in remote areas with no SNCU facility,” Patel said.
He also attacked the opposition Congress. “They’re trying to divert attention from Rajasthan. I would like to ask the Congress governments in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh why patients from these neighbouring states come to Gujarat hospitals for treatment.”
State Congress president Amit Chavda asked if the number of infant deaths should not make the government worried. “There have been 219 infant deaths in two government hospitals in Rajkot and Ahmedabad, and the number could be in thousands when hospitals across the state are taken into account. Should the government not worry about this, especially when both the prime minister and Union home minister are from Gujarat?” he asked.
Source: PTIPosted in National, News