1,154 Infants Died in Govt Hospitals in Three Months

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  • Karnataka does not seem to be a safe place to be born in and government hospitals are the worst
  • Statistics back the grim reality: as many as 1,154 babies died in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) of government-run hospitals across the state between April and June 2014.
  • Karnataka Institute of Sciences, Hubballi, topped the charts with 154 deaths,followed by Cheluvamba hospital, Mysuru, with 126.
  • At Vanivilas Hospital, Bengaluru, the figure stood at 110.
  • Data on neonatal deaths in the state since 2012 has thrown up alarming revelations.
  • There were 4,852 infant deaths in 2013-14 and 4,403 in 2012-13.Of the 41,380 live births in these three hospitals between April and June 2014, 1,154 newborns didn't survive.
  • Dr C R Srinivasa Gowda, deputy director, child health, state health and family welfare department, attributes 33% of the deaths to premature birth, 33% to infections and 9% to congenital abnormalities.
  • Premature deliveries are associated with complications like low temperature,declining sugar levels and low birth weight.
  • The department is working on an Audit to bring down the mortality rate.
  • In 2012-13, the highest number of newborn deaths -1,072 of 14,699 live births -was recorded in Vanivilas Hospital.
  • The same year, 593 out of 9,382 infants died in KIMS.
  • Cheluvamba hospital witnessed 587 deaths out of 13, 319 live births.
  • In 2013-14 too, Vanivilas stood on top -704 out of the 15,912 babies born died.
  • In KIMS, the figure was 383 (9,283 live births) and Cheluvamba recorded 536 neonatal deaths (14,139 births).
  • According to Atul Kumar Tiwari, director, National Rural Health Mission, late referral is one of the reasons for neonatal deaths.
  • Serious cases are referred to government hospitals at the last minute, putting the baby's life at risk.
  • We have been conducting a child death audit, which shows that the mother's nutrition intake is one of the causes.
  • We provide nutritional food and tablets to pregnant women at anganwadis.But many women go to their maternal home for delivery .
  • Change of place affects their nutrition. The health department has no control over this.
  • Government hospitals lack manpower, especially paediatricians.
  • In 2013-14, newborn care corners were set up in 882 primary health centres, 187 child health centres, 146 taluk hospitals and 33 district-level hospitals.
  • 1,000 neonatal deaths within a span of three months expose the poor state of government hospitals.
  • Proper and timely care could have prevented half of these deaths.
  • After the strike by doctors, it's time the government woke up to what's ailing its hospitals and took steps to provide medical care and deliver a safe future.