77 Infants Die in Kota Hospital in a Month, CM Gehlot Orders Probe

“Least number of deaths this year compared to the last 6 years,” claims CM Gehlot as probe into the deaths underway.

3 min read
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.

After at least 77 children died in December alone in Kota's JK Lon Hospital, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot ordered a probe on Friday, 27 December, according to news agency IANS.

Of the 77, 10 deaths were reported on Monday and Tuesday.

Speaking to ANI on Saturday, 28 December, Gehlot claimed that the number of deaths have been lower this year.

“This year has seen the least number of deaths in the last 6 years. Even one 1 child dying is unfortunate but there have been 1500,1400 or 1300 deaths in a year in past, this year the figure is 900. There shouldn’t be any deaths but a few people die daily in every hospital across the country and the state. This is nothing new. Our team is investigating into this and action is being taken.”
Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan CM

Speaking to the media earlier, Gehlot had said that a team has been sent to Kota to look into the deaths and that action will taken against those found guilty.

Gehlot has also instructed the Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galeria to visit Kota and submit a detailed report on an urgent basis, IANS reported.

"I am here to find out the reason for neonatal deaths. A special committee will investigate if there were hygienic or clinical issues behind the death of these kids. Besides, all other issues will also be taken up," Galeria said after visiting Kota.

Rajasthan BJP Chief Slams Gehlot

Rajasthan BJP President Satish Poonia, on Saturday, said the Ashok Gehlot-led government has shown "insensitivity" to the deaths of 10 infants within 48 hours at a city hospital by not sending any of its ministers there to take stock of the situation, according to PTI.

The state BJP president, on Saturday, reached Kota and visited the hospital to assess the situation.

Expressing concern over the deaths of the kids, Poonia also expressed his displeasure at poor infrastructure, lack of maintenance and insufficient nursing and medical staff at the hospital, PTI reported.

“Gehlot’s statement that ‘deaths tend to take place’ (maut to hote hi rahti hain) in hospital is really sorrowful and disappointing. These deaths were not supposed to have occurred,” Poonia told the media.

He said it is unfortunate that none of the state government's ministers has visited the hospital to take stock of the situation after the deaths.

"The state government has not, so far, shown any substantial and decisive action or commitment at the deaths of the kids in Kota and it is very unfortunate and sorrowful," Poonia said, according to PTI.

Hospital Rules Out Negligence

Meanwhile, the hospital which had formed a committe on Tuesday to probe the deaths has ruled out negligence, adding that resources and equipment were functioning properly, The Times of India reported.

According to the hospital report, the 10 children who died on 23 and 24 December were extremely critical and on ventilator support. The five newborns who died were just a day old and suffered from Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy – a condition in which infants do not receive enough oxygen to the brain – and septicemia, according to TOI.

“Our investigation says that 10 deaths were normal and children did not die because of any negligence,” hospital Superintendent Dr HL Meena said.

Hospital's head of the paediatrics department Amrit Lal Bairwa said, according to national Neonatal Intensive Care Unit records, 20 percent deaths of infants are acceptable while 10-15 percent deaths have been reported in Kota "which is not at all alarming".

Bairwa added that the children were brought in a critical condition.

(With inputs from IANS, ANI & TOI.)

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