‘55 infants have died at MKCG hospital in last month’

Berhampur/ Cuttack: Though the government is spending crores of rupees to provide better health facilities in the State but the spurt in infant deaths at Sishu Bhavan in Cuttack have raised questions about poor infrastructure and shortage of doctors in major hospitals, including MKCG hospitals.

As many as 55 infants have died at the MKCG hospital in last month, said a hospital official adding that lack of infrastructure facility and shortage of manpower as the main reason behind the deaths.

On an average the MKCG Medical College and Hospital attends as many as 50 newborns every day but the Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) at the hospital is being run without a ventilator and an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), the hospital official added.

The hospital also does not have other necessary equipments like bubble CPAP, ABG, portable X-ray machine and Central Oxygen Supply, though it is the only referral hospital in southern Odisha, the official stated.

“While mothers are seen lying outside the SNCU, babies are huddled into one bed to keep them warm. We don’t have adequate beds for mothers. There are only 120 beds in pediatric ward and 24 beds at the SNCU,” superintendent of the Medical College A.K. Behera said.

“Shortage of doctors and trained nurses is the main problem. The unit is being managed by the doctors of the Pediatric department and house surgeons. There are four assistant professor posts, five senior doctor posts and nine staff nurse posts are lying vacant in the hospital,” Behera added.

Notably, at MKCG, 216 babies died between April and July this year. A total of 726 deaths were reported between April 2014 and March this year, a hospital official said.