55 children die in Nashik hospital

On Friday, a meeting was held at the Mantralaya to look into the issues at the Nashik Civil Hospital. Nashik MLC Jayant Jadhav and Maharashtra Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant were at the meeting, along with senior health department officials. Sawant is scheduled to visit the hospital on Monday.

Fifty-five children have died in the Nashik Civil Hospital in August 
Fifty-five children have died in the Nashik Civil Hospital in August, raising questions on the medical infrastructure in place to treat them. In August, 346 children from rural areas and the tribal belt of Nashik district that is spread over nearly 15,582 sqkm were admitted to the hospital. Almost 15 per cent of those children died, hospital sources said. According to government officials, the average mortality rate in the state stands at around 7 per cent but the rate of neonatal deaths in the Nashik hospital is higher.

Activists have alleged between April and August this year, 187 children have died at the hospital. It has being claimed that most of the deaths took place because of absence of medical instruments, like ventilators, in the hospital.

Under central government norms, for 3,000 deliveries, at least 16 special newborn care units (SNCUs) are required. The Nashik hospital that records 6,000 deliveries a year has only one. “There has been an increase in the number of admission of children who are sent to the civil hospital in a critical condition from private hospitals in the city and rural areas. Most of the patients admitted are critical. Because we are a Grade II hospital, ventilators required for children as well as personnel to handle emergencies are not there,” Nashik district Civil Surgeon, Dr Suresh Jagdale, said. He, however, added that the government had a Rs 21 crore expansion plan for the hospital that will provide improved neonatal services.

The Deputy Director of the Directorate of Health Services, Dr Archana Patil, said: “We are planning to expand the neonatal services in Nashik.”

According to her, the hospital received critical newborn cases from nearby tribal and rural hamlets and has lower-than-required capacity.

An official from the health department said: “A lot of babies are referred with low birth weight and lung infection in advanced stages. These referrals have increased the death rate.”

The Nashik hospital has on an average recorded a high death rate every month. “Around 50,000 children are treated in all government hospitals in the state. Nashik has the highest admissions,” Patil said.

There is no other neonatal intensive facility in Nashik forcing all corporation and sub-district hospitals to refer patients to the hospital. Patil added that 30-40 per cent of the neonatal deaths are due to low birth weight.

On Friday, a meeting was held at the Mantralaya to look into the issues at the Nashik Civil Hospital. Nashik MLC Jayant Jadhav and Maharashtra Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant were at the meeting, along with senior health department officials. Sawant is scheduled to visit the hospital on Monday.

Source - Indian Express
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