Child deaths in Kota’s J K Lon Hospital, where 77 infants have died this month, have shown a sharp spike this year, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said.
In a letter to Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Harsh Vardhan said, “The available information from Special Newborn Care Units online software established under the National Health Mission, and the relief from the state has been reviewed and it showed higher mortality rate of 20.2% in J K Lon Hospital, Kota during 2019 in comparison to the preceding two years (year 2018=14.3%; year 2017 = 4.3%). Besides that, it has also been noted that in J K Lon Hospital, 70% of the radiant warmers are not functional and bed nurse ratio is 13:1 against the standard of 4:1.”
He also flagged equipment problems in the state government hospital. “It is learnt that out of 533 equipment, 320 are not functional for want or annual maintenance contract (AMC) and there is absence of oxygen pipeline in special newborn care unit. Also this hospital has bed occupancy of 180% and mortality in SNCU in the month of November has been reported to be 23.4% against 14-18% mortality reported in previous months,” the minister wrote.
Meanwhile, a Rajasthan government committee has cleared Kota’s JK Lone Hospital of any lapses after the recent deaths of 10 infants in 48 hours, an official said on Tuesday as opposition MPs visited the place, claiming they found it overcrowded and badly managed. It found that the hospital was short of beds, functioning at 150 per cent of its capacity, Rajasthan Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said. —With PTI inputs