Nine newborns died at Kota’s JK Lon Hospital in 24 hours between Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon, said officials on Thursday.
Rajasthan health minister Raghu Sharma ordered a probe to look into the causes of the deaths.
“Nine newborn infants died in the past 24 hours between Wednesday morning and today afternoon. Since this is the biggest hospital in the entire zone and hundreds of patients come to us daily, everyday on an average 5-6 deaths of children happen. Out of the nine infants, several were also suffering from congenital disorders and three were brought to the hospital dead,” Dr SC Dulara, superintendent, JK Lon Hospital told The Indian Express on Thursday.
The hospital, which is especially dedicated for children and infants, had grabbed headlines in January this year after more than 100 infants died in one month. Families of the dead children had spoken about dismal facilities, lack of maintenance of equipment and negligent behaviour of the staff and accused that their kids would have been alive had the administration been concerned.
After the issue of child deaths was highlighted in the media, the hospital’s paediatrics department in its report had said that out of the 513 equipment in the hospital, 320 were not functioning.
“I have asked for a report after getting the news of the death of nine infants at Kota’s JK Lon Hospital. I have also told them that under no circumstances not even one child should die because of negligence of doctors. According to the report that I have received, out of the nine infants who died, three were already dead when they arrived, three died because of congenital diseases and three other infants died cot deaths. Cot deaths happen due to causes such as milk getting inside lungs while feeding etc,” said the health minister.
He added that the government will ensure that no infant dies in future.
The opposition BJP had cornered the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in the state while the Congress had blamed the previous BJP regime for the deaths of newborns at the hosiptal in January this year and December 2019.
Former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot had said at the time that response of the Congress government over the deaths could have been ‘more sensitive and compassionate’ and that after 13 months of being in government it ‘may not serve any purpose to keep pointing to misdeeds and wrongdoings of the previous government’.