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BRD Hospital Tragedy Blown Out of Proportion Due to Internal Politics, Says Yogi Adityanath

Speaking at a function in Lucknow on Saturday, CM Adityanath said the issue was blown out of proportion because of the internal politics and maintained his stand that there was no shortage of oxygen.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18.com@qazifarazahmad

Updated:August 25, 2018, 7:19 PM IST
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BRD Hospital Tragedy Blown Out of Proportion Due to Internal Politics, Says Yogi Adityanath
File photo of Yogi Adityananth.

Lucknow: The internal politics at BRD Medical College and Hospital in Gorakhpur is to be blamed for the “controversy” over the deaths of 60 infants last year in Gorakhpur, said Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath.

Speaking at a function in Lucknow on Saturday, CM Adityanath said the issue was blown out of proportion because of the internal politics and maintained his stand that there was no shortage of oxygen.

“When I came to know about the BRD deaths, I thought it was a regular news story but then media started reporting the number of deaths from 13 to 59. I immediately asked the Director General Health, the Health Minister and the Medical Education Minister to reach the spot and report to me. Next day, I decided to go there myself and I came to know that there was no shortage of oxygen. Had it been oxygen shortage then the kids on the ventilator would have died first.”

“On inquiry about the death figures, I came to know that it was a result of the internal politics of the medical college. It was such a sad situation that we had to counsel the doctors to deal with the issue. I asked them to focus on the root cause of encephalitis and educate people about government schemes to fight dirty and unhealthy surroundings,” Yogi Adityanath further added.

Earlier, on the anniversary of the BRD College Hospital tragedy, News18 had reported how the hospital authorities have stopped producing the health bulletins. Previously, a daily bulletin was issued revealing the exact number of deaths at BRD Hospital due to Japanese encephalitis.

Speaking to News18, Prinicpal of BRD Medical College Hospital, Dr Ganesh Kumar had said, “We now send the data of deaths due to encephalitis to the Chief Medical Officer as per orders from the Principal Secretary (Health) and are not authorised to issue any death figures at our end.”

As per the new rules, data on deaths is sent to the CMO office on weekly basis every Monday. Thereafter, an accumulated report is made with total deaths across the district and the BRD Hospital. Also, the accumulated data only reveal number of deaths due to AES (Acute Encephalitis Syndrome) and not Japanese Encephalitis.

Also, an RTI response revealed that BRD Hospital was facing shortage of oxygen cylinders on the night of August 11, 2017 when many kids died in the Encephalitis ward. The response which was given by the BRD administration on April 19 also stated that around six cylinders were bought from other hospitals and the then nodal officer Dr Kafeel Khan had arranged four oxygen cylinders on his own.

The RTI response, to an extent, corroborates the stand of Dr Kafeel who received considerable backlash for stating that there was oxygen shortage as BRD administration did not make timely payments to the supplier Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd.

The RTI was filed by Lucknow based activist Sanjay Sharma who claimed that the government was trying to hide the facts related to the tragedy. Speaking to the media, Sanjay Sharma said, “The RTI response by BRD stating that oxygen cylinders were brought from outside makes it clear that there was a shortage of oxygen on August 11, 2017.”

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| Edited by: Parth Sharma
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