The pity picture of Indian Government run hospitals is again under the scanner. This time it is Kerala’s turn to make the headlines for 40 infant deaths in a state run hospital in a month.
The Kerala government is under fire after the Sree Avittam Thirunal (SAT) hospital recorded deaths of at least 40 infants in the last one month. The hospital is no place for babies to be as there is no facility available for the new borns. And what to talk about facilities, the hospital has just one nurse for every 20 babies. The infants are cleaned once a day; the labour ward is overcrowded and disposable equipment is in short supply. Moreover, the hospital lacks bedding facilities, for which the parents have to keep their babies on floor. One can only imagine how clean the floors will be for the babes if the state of affairs at the hospital is so grim.
Tests have confirmed that the infants died after contracting a bacterial infection at the hospital. Health workers blame doctors for the unhygienic condition.
It has been 15 days since we came here but we don’t even have a proper place to keep the baby. My baby and I have to lie on the floor. There is no cleanliness and nobody cares.
says Omana, a mother at the hospital.
I put the blame squarely on the medical professionals, the doctors who have been running the hospital for the past 40 years. They have turned the place into a charity hospital where standards and cleanliness are not the priority.
says health activist C R Soman.
When the news of 40 babies dead in hospital made the headlines, the state health ministry woke from its long slumber and, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare, P K Sreemathi assured that the hospital will be improved immediately, she said,
We have immediately allotted Rs 1 crore to upgrade all facilities at the hospital. We are going to have a huge cleansing drive started soon.
A local court in Thiruvananthapuram charged Sreemathi and seven others for culpable homicide not amounting to murder over the death of the babies.
Now when the hospital’s gory picture has been brought to light, it’s too late as 40 babies have lost their lives. But it should be taken care of – from now on, government run hospitals in Kerala or for that matter in any part of India should be looked after and no such incident should take place again. Those gone will never comeback, but those who are still to make their entry into this world must be guarded. It is wholly the government’s responsibility to protect such incidents in future.