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17 children die at Niloufer
Against a daily average of 11, the Niloufer hospital witnessed as many as 17 children dying on May 22.A The hospital is a quaternary care hospital for...
Against a daily average of 11, the Niloufer hospital witnessed as many as 17 children dying on May 22.A The hospital is a quaternary care hospital for Obstetric, Pediatrics, Neonatology and Maternal Fetal Medicine and is considered to be one of the largest hospitals of its kind in Asia is in dire state of affairs. But unhygienic conditions and lack of sufficient nursing staff has led to death of infants in the overburdened institution.
In the month of May the average death of children recorded is 11 per day but on May 22, it increased to 17 deaths per day. The ward which requires sterilisation to safeguard the children from infections is not being done due to the heavy load of patients. A few days ago attempt was made to sterilise the ward partly but the increasing number of patients prohibited them from doing it completely.
The capacity of NICU ward is only 30 beds but there are over 132 admissions and it has become very difficult for them to give proper care to the babies, stated a doctor. Most of them are terminally ill and high-risk cases.
The doctors told The Hans India, "Since fumigation was not done for long, we did try to send some of them to the Gandhi Hospital but they refused take them and they were sent back," said a doctor of neo-natal ward in the hospital. Sterilization of neo-natal ward at Niloufer hospital was not done for the last eight months resulting in deaths of infants who are admitted to the ward. To add to the woes, only two nurses are appointed for the neo-natal ward.
Usually the women are not allowed inside the ward to avoid infections, but since there is lack of nursing staff, the women are being allowed inside the ward to look after their babies. This could have led to spread of infections leading to death of the children, said the doctors and nursing staff at the hospital.
Incharge Superintendent, Ramesh Reddy said that the babies who died were not born in the hospital. "Usually terminally ill children are referred to Niloufer from various hospitals across the state. Even the corporate hospitals are known to refer high-risk children to this hospital. In such a case, the hospital is overburdened with patients five times more than its capacity."
Following sudden surge in number of deaths, State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Secretary D Subramanyam made a surprise visit to the hospital. After reviewing the neonatal wards, he observed that there is a dire need of infrastructure development in the hospital.
The Commission felt that "There is need to appoint nursing staff, which is very less. Even the Superintendent should be given powers to hire nursing staff," he said. SHRC Secretary said that he will give a detailed report on the condition of hospital to the Commission.
Ajay Sawhney, Principal Secretary, Public Health and Family Welfare, also visited the hospitals and held a discussion with the doctors team. After reviewing the hospital conditions he said, "We are planning for reorganization of the hospital. Steps will include having more nursing staff and procuring critical equipments. Also, more number of PG students will be appointed for better care soon." However, he did not answer as to by when these arrangements would be in place.
According to officials, a new block of the hospital is ready, but staff and equipments are to be procured. "We had discussions with District Medical Officer on this. A Once the block is ready to take patients the burden on the hospital would definitely come down", added the Health Secretary.