Over 600 Infants Died In Rajasthan, Gujarat Hospitals Last Month: 10 Points

The BJP, which initially targeted the Congress over the infant deaths in Rajasthan, was faced with a similar situation in Gujarat.

Mothers nurse their infants at the JK Lone Hospital in Rajasthan's Kota.

Jaipur: Over 600 babies died at six major hospitals across Rajasthan and Gujarat in December last year, agencies reported amid outrage over the alleged lack of life-saving equipment in government medical institutions. The first reports of the kind emerged from the JK Lon Hospital in Rajasthan's Kota, where 100 infants died in a span of just one month. Even as the BJP accused the ruling Congress of negligence, similar deaths were reported from party-ruled Gujarat too.

A look at the top 10 developments in this story:

  1. As many as 100 infant deaths were reported from Kota's JK Lone Hospital in December. The National Human Rights Commission, which sent a notice to the Rajasthan government, has claimed that over 50 per cent of the equipment at the institution was found to be defunct.  

  2. The head of the hospital's paediatric department, Dr Amritlal Bairava, was replaced by Dr Jagjit Singh after the infant deaths. Four additional pediatricans have also been brought in, and work on a nine-bed newborn intensive care unit has begun.

  3. A government-run hospital in Bikaner recorded the death of 162 infants in December. "We received 2,219 children from various hospitals that month. None of the 162 infants who died were born here," Dr HS Kumar, principal of the SP Medical College, PBM Hospital, told news agency ANI.    

  4. Over 145 infant deaths were also reported from the Umaid and MDM hospitals in Jodhpur the same month. However, a senior official told news agency PTI that this figure comes within the range prescribed by the international standards of infant mortality.

  5. "A total of 47,815 children were admitted to the two hospitals in 2019, of which 754 children died," said SN Medical College principal SS Rathore, pointing out that hospitals in these cities have to "bear the load of patients from the whole of western Rajasthan".

  6. The Rajasthan government's handling of the situation was criticised by its own Deputy Chief Minister, Sachin Pilot, on Saturday. "Our response could have been more compassionate and sensitive... it serves no purpose to blame the previous government's misdeeds," he said.

  7. Sachin Pilot's comment came a day after Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who heads the state's Congress government, claimed that the number of infant deaths had actually come down as compared to the former BJP-led government under Vasundhara Raje.

  8. The BJP targeted the Congress over the infant deaths in Rajasthan, with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath wondering why party chief Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra "can't understand the sorrow of mothers despite being women".

  9. However, similarly shocking reports of infant deaths in Gujarat have now put the BJP on the backfoot. Reports claim that while 111 infants died at the Rajkot Civil Hospital in December, the death count at the Ahmedabad Civic Hospital came up to 85 the same month.

  10. Officials at the Rajkot Civil Hospital also admitted that 269 infants had died during treatment over the last three months of 2019. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani walked away when asked to comment on the issue at a press meet in Vadodara on Sunday.



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