Death of infants
Who is responsible?
G. N. WADOO
The tragic death of about 365 infants in G.B. Pant Children Hospital, Srinagar since January, 2012 was mourned throughout the valley. It was especially hard for parents whose babies have died in the said hospital. What we love and live for is our baby and a healthy baby is a blessing for every household. The parents, worldwide, attach more importance to the growth and health of their babies both physically and mentally by a special healthcare management of the State Government, whether it for polio, flu, diphtheria, malaria, diarrhea, whopping cough or other pediatric diseases or disorders. There is a network of central government pediatric and neonatal institutes in the country and every state is fully equipped with manpower, equipment and management. But the problem in J&K is that even one such Institute (GB Pant Hospital, Srinagar) is understaffed, under equipped and unmanageable with the result the infant fatalities have increased proportionately.
Regarding GB Pant Children Hospital, Srinagar many complaints about its insanitation, water logging in its premises, non availability of required beds in wards and the failed system of patient care were heard of on many occasions. Obviously even after such public grievances the State Government has never taken cognizance of the deteriorating infrastructure and the sub-standard infant care of the hospital, which ought to have been declared closed and other pediatric care facility referral care clinics open in other hospitals in the valley like SKIMS, SMHS, JVC and JLNM Hospital temporarily so that such huge life losses could have been averted. In fact every district of the valley should have separate pediatric and neonatal facilities available so that the patients and their attendants do not suffer in a crowded single hospital in Srinagar.
“Shri M. K. Diwedi, Commissioner/Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department said that the preliminary inquiry has established that the Institute is lacking capacity on all fronts like manpower, equipment and management of the services. Institute’s administration has been little casual and they have not taken the issue seriously.” (GK, 18th May, 2012). The statement of Shri Diwedi is very unfortunate because genocide of the infants has been brought about deliberately by the negligence of the doctors concerned, and till the death toll reached to 365 mark, the authorities within the hospital and outside did not take the issue seriously! Shall it be presumed that the State Government was absent in Srinagar due to Darbar Move during the period from January, 2012 onwards so that the news of infant deaths did not reach the power corridors.
The valley has all along been ignored in the development sectors, especially the health sector and the discriminative policies are adopted towards the people of Kashmir by every government that comes to power in the State. The opposition parties may raise a hue and cry on the infant deaths, yes, but that is only their vote bank policy. The ground situation is that even the opposition regimes did nothing to provide pediatric and neonatal facilities for the people of the valley, Instead, the Children Hospital was shifted from a convenient place to a very inconvenient place, and the number of beds and staff was reduced causing much inconvenience to the people of the valley at large.
The parents and the relatives of the patients, both in OPD and Indoor at GB Pant Hospital, did not even boycott the hospital as soon as few infant deaths in January, 2012 were made public. Instead, they waited and watched till the number of infant deaths increased day by day. Had such an infanticide (like of GBPH) caused in other regions of the State or for that matter in any Indian State, an uncontrolled law and order problem could have erupted and the criminals brought to the book. It speaks of the disastrous pediatric and neonatal health care facility of the GB Pant Hospital and the ultimate failure of the staff in saving the precious innocent souls who were under their follow up.
The role of the doctors and the staff is highly condemnable. The general public grievance is that the senior doctors remain absconding from the hospital and the junior and inexperienced doctors are entrusted with the patient care, which ultimately results in the death of the infants. It is therefore a gross negligence and an offence on the part of the senior doctors not to attend their duties in the hospitals but engage themselves in practices in private hospitals and clinics. The government has to take action against such doctors and the staff who play with the lives of the innocent infants. The government has to provide many infant hospitals in the valley under proper vigilance and under the overall control of the Board of Directors.
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Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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