45 infants die in 10 days, 5900 in five years: Shishu Bhawan is infants’ death trap in Odisha

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45 infants have died in the last 10 days in Cuttack’s Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics leading to widespread criticism for the state government.

Alarmed by these infants’ deaths, the state government has now brought in experienced doctors to take control of the deteriorating situation. A seven member team by the central government led by Additional Secretary in Ministry of Health, Arun Panda, visited this referral health institution, also known as Shishu Bhawan.

Panda said, “The whole idea of bringing a Central team is to help the state government and to strengthen the entire service delivery system. If required we will send additional doctors here.”

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, along with health experts too visited Sishu Bhawan.

He said, “The centre will provide all support to revamp the Sishu Bhawan infrastructure, if the Odisha government seeks. A long term plan would be prepared for infrastructure development of the hospital.”

Locals say that Shishu Bhawan has become the death trap for new born babies as more than 5900 infants have died while undergoing treatment here in the last five years. According to the state health department report, of these, 3,869 infants died in OPD, while 2,034 died in ICU between  the period of 2010-11 to 2014-15.

407 infants have died here in the last three months alone.

Odisha’s health minister, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, on Sunday said that his government was determined to improve services in Shishu Bhawan adding that the state government had also formed a committee to investigate the incident.

The technical committee will submit its report by next week.

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