14 new born die in one week in Chhattisgarh
RAIPUR: With the death of three more new-borns at
Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences (CIMS), Bilaspur, in the past 24
hours, the toll for such cases touched 14 in the past one-week. Incidentally,
25% (14) of the 56 new born babies admitted to the Neonatal intensive care unit
of the hospital have died in the first week of December.
One infant died on Sunday and two others succumbed on
Monday, taking their toll to 14. According to officials 12 of these dead
children were referral cases and were not born in the hospital.
Dr SK Mohanty, Dean CIMS, while confirming 14 deaths,
said only two children were born in the hospital and all others were referred
in critical conditions. He said 56 children had been admitted to the Neonatal
intensive care unit in the first week of December and 14 of them had died.
Claiming that the two "in-born" children had
died due to normal birth related complications, Dr Mohanty said majority of the
referral cases were of pre-mature births and were underweight. Denying any
negligence on the parts of the doctors or the hospital Dr Mohanty said there
was nothing "unusual" about these deaths as the infant mortality rate
(IMR) in the state is quite high.
He said most of the referral cases were brought to the
hospital in their "last stages" and could not be saved despite best
A senior doctor in the hospital told TOI on condition
of anonymity that most of these deaths had occurred as due care was not taken
during pregnancy. He said illiteracy and ignorance among the poor and tribals
is the main cause of high IMR in the state.
According to data about 1.32 lakh children (6000 per 1
lakh) below the age of 5 years die in Chhattisgarh every year due to various
ailments, including pneumonia and diarrhoea. There are about 22 lakh children
(0-5) in the state.
According to WHO, the survival and health of new born
babies is a critical part of the push towards lower child mortality in Millennium
Development Goal 4, because a large portion of under-five deaths actually occur
during the first month of life. Because many of these deaths are related to
care at the time of birth, newborn health goes hand in hand with the health of
mothers, Millennium Development Goal 5.
According to figures, new born deaths, which occur in
the first four weeks of life (neonatal period), account for 41% of all child
deaths below the age of five years. The share of such death has grown from 37%
over the last decade, and is likely to increase further.
Doctors say that though the first week of life is the
"riskiest" period for new born, authorities are yet not initiating
postnatal care programmes to reach mothers and babies at this critical time.
Meanwhile state congress president, Bhupesh Baghel has
accused the state government of gross negligence in the death of new born
babies attributed them to malnutrition. In a statement issued here, Bhagel said
these deaths, which come close on the heels of botched sterilisation tragedy,
has completely exposed the state government's health care. He said the
government had failed to provide quality healthcare to the people and blamed
rampant corruption in the state machinery for it.