Sixty-one infants die in Indian children's hospital

Sixty-one infants die in Indian children's hospital in just two weeks, revealing India's poor public health system

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A baby sleeps on its mother's shoulder

Protests were held in India, following the deaths of 61 infants within two weeks at the Shishu Bhawan hospital.

Indian government launched an investigation into the case.

Unfortunately, the deaths of the infants has highlighted, India’s miserable public health system.

“A criminal probe has been launched on three staff members at the Shishu Bhawan, or Children's Home, in Cuttack in Eastern Odisha” reported Atanu S. Nayak, State Health Minister on Wednesday.

“Five workers have been suspended, “ he added.

Prime Minister, Nrendra Modi’s, Bharatiya Janata Party, along with opposition parties in India, arranged for protests to be held at several government hospitals in Odisha. The protesters accused government officials, stating that the officials failed to ensure the medical personal was qualified, they also shouted slogans against the government.

"Infants have died but the chief minister has yet to visit the hospital," said Samir Mohanty, one of the BJP protesters.

"A preliminary inquiry found (the staff) had neglected their duty that contributed to the deaths," state's health minister Nayak said, without elaborating about the causes of death.

According to Niranjan Mohanty, a senior official at the hospital, the hospital can admit 50 critically ill children a day. But almost 500 sick children go to the hospital daily, stating, that was the root of the problem.

Every year, 300,000 babies die within 24 hours of being born in India. Each year 56,000 women die during pregnancy or while giving birth.

Reuters, TRTWorld and agencies