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Centre to send high-level team to probe 100 infant deaths at Kota hospital

A recent review had revealed that the mortality rate at JK Lon Hospital was 20.2 per cent in 2019, as opposed to 14.3 per cent recorded in the past two years. This meant one in five infants admitted to the hospital last year died from preventable causes

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In        Last Updated: January 2, 2020  | 23:34 IST
Centre to send high-level team to probe 100 infant deaths at Kota hospital

The Centre will send a high-level team to a government hospital in Rajasthan's Kota where 100 infants died in December. The team will include experts from AIIMS, Jodhpur and, health economists, Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a tweet. It will assess the infrastructural gaps that led to the tragedy at Kota's JK Lon Hospital and measures to be taken to prevent further deaths.

"The high-level team being despatched by @MoHFW_INDIA incl experts from AIIMS Jodhpur, Health Finance & Regional Director, Health Services Jaipur. It will reach #Kota tomorrow. In my letter too to @ashokgehlot51 ji, I've offered all possible assistance to prevent any further deaths (sic)," the Health Minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted.

Vardhan said that he has talked to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and assured him of all possible support to prevent further infant deaths in Kota.

"I informed @ashokgehlot51 ji that Rs 91.7 lakhs has already been advanced to JK Loan Hospital during 2019-20 under National Health Mission. Kota District alone has an annual allocation of Rs 27.45 Cr for '19-20, from the annual budgeted amount of Rs 1788.97 Cr for Rajasthan state (sic)," Vardhan said in another tweet.

"I told @ashokgehlot51 ji that #Rajasthan may go ahead and propose for further financial assistance in the upcoming Rajasthan National Health Mission (NHM) meeting after doing their gap analysis. We'll do our best to prevent further deaths, I assured him fully," the Union health minister wrote on Twitter.

"We are ready to provide any technical help or assistance. Let us ensure no child succumbs to preventable causes or due to lack of health system capacity," Vardhan has written in his letter to Gehlot.

As union health ministry officials told PTI, a preliminary probe has suggested that over 70 per cent of important equipment, including infusion pumps, warmers, oxymeters and nebulisers meant for newborns were dysfunctional at the JK Lon Hospital. The paediatrics department in the hospital was also understaffed.

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A recent review had revealed that the mortality rate at JK Lon Hospital was 20.2 per cent in 2019, as opposed to 14.3 per cent recorded in the past two years, an official told the news agency, adding that this meant one in five infants admitted to the hospital last year died from preventable causes.

A committee constituted by the Rajasthan government has stated that the infants died due to a lack of oxygen pipelines in the hospital and also because of extremely cold conditions. It also referred to an increase in referral of critical cases and stated that the number of beds in the hospital was less than the flow of patients.

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