The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights on Monday found serious lapses at a hospital in Kota, Rajasthan, that was in the news after 10 infants died in a week, PTI reported. During an inspection at state-run JK Lon Hospital, the child rights body found broken windows and gates, pigs roaming inside campus and acute shortage of staff.
At least 91 children have reportedly died in the hospital this month while the year’s toll is 940, according to officials.
After the visit, NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo issued a show cause notice to Vaibhav Galtiya, the secretary of Medical Education Department in Rajasthan, seeking an action-taken report from him within three working days.
“It is evident that there was no glass in windows panes, gates were broken and as a result the admitted children were suffering with extreme weather condition,” Kanoongo said. “Pigs were found roaming inside the campus of the hospital,” he said in the notice. He added that the general upkeep and maintenance of the hospital is in the “worst condition”.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party formed a committee of four MPs to look into the deaths. The members of the panel are Lok Sabha MPs Jaskaur Meena, Locket Chatterjee and Bharati Pawar, and Rajya Sabha MP Kanta Kardam. They will submit a report within three days to BJP Working President JP Nadda.
The hospital administration too has appointed a three-member committee, headed by Paediatrics Department’s chief Amrit Lal Bairwa to investigate the deaths. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot told reporters that he would wait for the investigation report before taking action.
Lok Sabha Speaker and Kota MP Om Birla on Sunday urged the Rajasthan government to act with sensitivity, and directed officials to make adequate arrangement to ensure such incidents do not occur in future. “The untimely death of any infant due to lack of medical equipment and resources is worrying,” Birla had said. “According to the advice of doctors, the availability of necessary life-saving equipment and resources will be ensured in the next 15 days by public support.”
The hospital, however, has maintained that there was nothing unusual about the deaths. “Our investigation says that 10 deaths were normal and children did not die because of any negligence,” JK Lon Hospital Superintendent HL Meena had said on Friday.