AMN / New Delhi
The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of media reports about the deaths of more than 80 infants/children at a government-run hospital in the district Banswara of Rajasthan during the last two months.
It has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan calling for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks along with the steps taken and proposed to be taken to improve the conditions in the hospital. He has also been asked to inform whether any instructions in the recent past have been issued to the hospitals and other Medical Care institutions sensitizing them to be attentive and careful to prevent such tragic deaths due to any human errors/negligence.
Taking serious exception to the reported poor facilities and upkeep of the hospital, the Commission has observed that the negligence on the part of the hospital authorities amounts to violation of right to life of the poor victims. Many such cases from various parts of the country have come to the notice of the Commission, wherein a large number of human lives are lost due to the lack of infrastructure and callous attitude of the doctors/officers in the government run hospitals.
According to the media report, carried on the 5th September, 2017, the ‘Labour Room’ of the hospital was not properly sterilized and even the towels, being used, were found to be dirty. There was no proper sanitation in the Labour Room. The pregnant women were found to be underweight and proper consultation regarding appropriate diet was not being provided to them by the hospital. No proper records were being maintained due to weakness, they delivered babies at pre-mature stages and the infants suffered lung diseases leading to their deaths.
State Government has reportedly suspended the Chief Medical Officer, Gynaecologist and the Block Medical Officer. Apart from this, 6 doctors have been issued Show Cause Notices and 6 others have been removed from the service.
Also sends Notice to Jharkhand
On August 28 NHRC took suo motu cognizance of a media report that weeks after a controversy erupted over the Gorakhpur tragedy, 52 infants have now been reported dead at Jamshedpur’s Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College (MGM) hospital in Jharkhand. According to the reports the infants have died in a span of 30 days and the hospital Superintendent has reportedly blamed malnutrition for the deaths.
The commission has observed that painful deaths of children and infants, in a large number, are a matter of concern. It has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Jharkhand calling for a report in the matter within six weeks. It has also asked the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry to take immediate action by way of issuance of suitable directions to all the States and Union Territories so that due to any negligence, such tragic deaths do not take place in any hospital in the country.
It may be recalled that the NHRC had recently taken cognizance of two similar incidents. One occurred in the Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh, where more than 60 children and infants died at BRD Medical College and another was reported from the State of Chhattisgarh, where 4 infants died due to negligence by the oxygen plant operator at Ambedkar Hospital. The reports are awaited in both the incidents.