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Repeat of Gorakhpur tragedy? Infants death toll in Kota hospital crosses 100

Death toll of infants have crossed 100 in Kota’s JK Lone hospital in Rajasthan. Four infants, including 2 newborns lost their lives on first two days of the new year due to inadequate facilities. Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has assured Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot of providing all possible help and support.

There are several reports which has clearly shown how the government has been negligent despite witnessing a horrific tragedy in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur in 2017 when more than 1,300 children lost their lives at BRD Medical College and hospital due to pediatric encephalitis and inadequate supply of oxygen.

There are several reports that have been accessed by the media that shows how medical negligence still persists in the nation.

As per a report accessed by the Hindustan Times, only 213 key equipment were available for use out of 533. Out of 20 ventilators, 14 of them were non functional. 32 out of 38 pulse oximeters were not working and out of 28 nebulizers, only 6 of them were functional. In NICU, only 24 out of 71 warmers were functional.

Another media report cited leakage of roofs and improper hygiene to be the reason behind spreading of infection, leading to death of infants.

Meanwhile, a team of experts have been rushed to Kota by the Central government, who will ascertain the reason of deaths and suggest measures to prevent any loss of life further. The disciplinary expert panel is comprised of Deepak Saxena, senior regional director of Rajasthan;  head of paediatrics of AIIMS Jodhpur, Dr Kuldeep Singh; National Health Systems Resource Centre adviser Dr Himanshu Bhushan and Dr Arun Singh who is a professor of neonatology at AIIMS in Jodhpur.

Speaking to media, Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “The team will carry out joint gap analysis along with the state government in terms of clinical protocols, service delivery, manpower availability and equipment for maternal, newborn and paediatric care services in the Medical College Kota, Rajasthan; and will develop an action plan for providing technical and financial support to Kota Medical College.”

After receiving criticism from the BJP and the BSP, who termed Ashok Gehlot led- Rajasthan government ‘insensitive’, the Chief Minister urged not to politicize the matter. He said, “My government is sensitive to the death of infants at JK Lon Hospital, Kota. There should not be politics over this. Infant mortality in this hospital of Kota is steadily decreasing. We will try to reduce it further. It is our top priority to keep mothers and children healthy.”

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