After Report Of 90 Child Deaths In Rajasthan Hospital, NHRC Sends Notice

Birth asphyxia is a medical condition resulting from deprivation of oxygen to a newborn during the birth process. (Representational picture) (Photo Credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation)

New Delhi: The NHRC has issued a notice to the Rajasthan government over the death of 90 children at a state-run hospital in Banswara district in the last two months seeking a report within four weeks.

Taking serious exception to the reported poor facilities and upkeep of the hospital, the National Human Rights Commission has observed that the “negligence on the part of
the hospital authorities” amounts to violation of right to life of the victims.

It has issued the notice to the Rajasthan chief secretary and sought a detailed report in the matter within a month mentioning the steps taken and proposed to be taken to improve
the condition of the hospital.

“He has also been asked to inform whether any instructions in the recent past have been issued to hospitals and other medical care institutions sensitising them to be attentive and careful to prevent such tragic deaths due to any human errors/negligence,” the NHRC said in a statement.

Earlier, the state government had also ordered an inquiry after the death of the 90 infants at the MG Hospital in Banswara district in the last two months.

Chief Medical and Health Officer, Banswara, Dr H L Tabiyar has said several of them died due to birth asphyxia but exact number of those who perished because of this reason will be known after investigation.

Birth asphyxia is a medical condition resulting from deprivation of oxygen to a newborn during the birth process.

The casualties were reported from the sick newborn care unit (SNCU) of the hospital in Banswara, which is nearly 500 kms from the state capital Jaipur.

The NHRC said, “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 a media report, carried on September 5, the ‘Labour Room’ of the hospital was not properly sterilised 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,” the NHRC statement said.

Quoting media reports, it said the state government has suspended the Chief Medical Officer, gynaecologist and the Block Medical Officer. Apart from this, six doctors have been issued show cause notices and as many others removed from their services, the rights panel said.