Infant death toll at Sishu Bhawan mounts to 62

Cuttack: With three more infant deaths reported today, the toll at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics has gone up to 62 in the past 13 days.

Among the two deceased, one baby boy hails from Erasama block of Jagathsinghpur, another baby girl from Kendrapara district and another infant from Pipili.

The spate of deaths at the childcare centre, popularly known as Shishu Bhawan, has infuriated people while the Odisha government is trying to check the deaths by pressing experienced doctors and other staff into service.
It seems the referral health institution in Cuttack is a virtual death trap as more than 5,900 infants have died while undergoing treatment in the last five years.

Meanwhile, a seven member Central team led by the Additional Secretary of the Health Ministry and specialist doctors visited Sishu Bhavan to assess the situation.

“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,” said Arun Panda Additional Secretary of Health Ministry.

The Odisha state government has also formed a technical committee to probe the incident and the report is expected next week.

Odisha Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said the state government is taking all steps to ensure better services in the hospital.

As per the health department report, as many as 3,869 infants have died in OPD, while 2,034 have died in ICU in the last five years from 2010-11 to 2014-15.

In the last three months, 407 infants have died in both OPD and ICU.