Hyderabad: The post-mortem report of a four-day-old baby who died two days after being brought to a government-run child care centre here has raised questions about the safety of children at these homes.
The baby was brought to a ‘Shishu Vihar’, run by the state Women and Child Welfare Department, in Hyderabad on July 12 this year. Two days later, she was taken to the Niloufer Government Hospital where she was declared “brought dead”.
At that time, Shishu Vihar staff had said the baby was not able to consume milk and had started bleeding from her nose following which she was taken to the hospital. A case was registered at that time with local police.
However, the post-mortem report has stated that the infant had an injury on the head and that could have been one of the reasons for her death. The report also said the baby was subjected to “starvation”.
Child rights activists have brought allegations of negligence against the employees of the centre and termed the death as unnatural.
“Ever since the incident happened, we’ve been saying that this death was caused purely due to negligence. The post-mortem report has now revealed that there was an injury. The staff at the centre didn’t notice the injury at that time? Why didn’t they mention about it?” activist Achyuth Rao told News18.
Rao has written to the Hyderabad police commissioner demanding an inquiry into the incident and lodging a criminal case against the authorities.
Also, the baby was allegedly taken to the hospital in an auto and the activists are questioning why the staff took such a move despite the fact that every centre has its own vehicle to take care of medical emergencies.
Sources in the Women and Child Welfare Department said the baby’s condition was bad when she was bought to the centre.
“She was very ill when she was bought to us and in two days, we took her to a hospital for a check-up. On that day, our car was already engaged in taking some other children for a check-up. Hence, we had to call for an auto to take the infant,” a senior official from the department, on condition of anonymity, told News18.
The local police is yet to register a case based on the post-mortem report. According to SR Nagar Station House Officer Murali Krishna, a preliminary inquiry will be done before registering a case.
“We will talk to the doctors once to understand the depth of the injury. Also, we have to see how exactly the baby got injured in the head. Were the staff reckless? Did she get hit by anything in the auto? We will look into all these aspects,” Krishna told News18.
The baby was bought to Yousufguda Shishu Vihar by the local police after they found her on the street with her mother who was selling balloons. There was reportedly another infant death on the same day at the Begumpet Shishu Vihar. The cause of death was cited as ill-health in that case as well.