Four newborn babies died at a government medical college and hospital in Chhattisgarh’s Surguja district in the last two days, prompting the state government to call an emergency meeting of officials. Hospital authorities, however, said there was nothing unusual about these deaths and that these babies died due to birth-related complications.
The deaths occurred at the Government Medical College Affiliated Hospital (GMCH), Ambikapur, the district headquarter of the Surguja district, located around 300 km away from Raipur, officials said. While one death took place on October 15 late night, three other infants died the next morning. All four infants, aged 4 to 28 days, were referred from other hospitals after their birth, said Dr Lakhan Singh, Superintendent, GMCH.
He said one of the babies died at the pediatric ward while three others at the Special Neonatal Care Unit (SNCU) of the hospital. According to Dr Singh, there was nothing unusual in these deaths. “Two of the babies were suffering from birth asphyxia while as many others were underweight," Dr Singh told PTI. Asphyxia is one of the most common causes of death among neonates, he added.
Another doctor at the hospital said that the parents of one of the deceased babies created a ruckus in the hospital accusing the hospital staff of negligence and later other parents joined them. He said the parents were earlier informed about the condition of their children and the complications they were suffering from.
In the wake of these deaths, Chhattisgarh Urban Administration and Development Minister Shivkumar Dahariya, who is in-chcarge minister of the Surguja district, has left for Ambikapur to chair a meeting of officials. State Health Minister TS Singh Deo, who was in Delhi, has left his tour midway and returning to Chhattisgarh, a release said.
On the direction of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, Dahariya has left for Ambikapur where he has called an emergency meeting of the District Collector, Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) and superintendent of the medical college, a statement issued by the public relations department said. A release issued by the health minister’s staff said that Singh Deo has cancelled all his scheduled programmes in Delhi and will directly reach Ambikapur from there. In view of the seriousness of the issue, the health minister has directed to send a special team of health departments from Raipur and Bilaspur to Ambikapur, it said.