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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Rajasthan infant deaths: Don’t politicise issue, our govt is sensitive to it, says CM Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot's defence of his government came at a time when Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP supremo Mayawati targetted Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi over her silence on the issue.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 2, 2020 9:49:47 pm
Rajasthan infant deaths: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has urged Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to visit the state-run JK Lon hospital and see for himself the “best facilities” which are provided there.

Facing flak over the deaths of at least 100 infants at Kota’s JK Lon Hospital Thursday, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the issue shouldn’t be politicised, adding that his government is sensitive to the deaths.

“The government is sensitive to the death of sick infants in JK Lon Hospital in Kota. There should no politics over the issue. Infant mortality at this hospital is steadily decreasing. We will try to reduce it further. It is our top priority that mothers and children remain in good health,” Gehlot stated in a tweet. “We also established an ICU for children in Kota in 2011,” he added.

The Rajasthan CM’s remarks came in the backdrop of criticism by the BJP and BSP, who accused the state government of being insensitive. Gehlot further stated that the aim of ‘Nirogi Rajasthan’ was a priority for the government and an expert team from the Centre could further help improve health services in the state. “We are ready to improve medical services in the state through discussions and cooperation with an expert team from the Centre,” he said.

On December 29, The Indian Express reported that 77 infants died in the first 24 days of December at the hospital. Ten of the deaths happened in a span of 48 hours between December 23 and 24.

Nine more deaths were reported in the last two days of the month, taking the toll to 100. According to the hospital superintendent, the children died mainly due to low birth weight.

UP Chief Minister Adityanath slammed Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi over the deaths and said, “Had Priyanka Vadra met the aggrieved mothers in Rajasthan, instead of doing political gimmicks in UP, then those families might have got some consolation.”

Gehlot invites Union Health Minister to see ‘best facilities’ provided

The Rajasthan Chief Minister urged Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to visit the state-run JK Lon hospital and see for himself the “best facilities” which are provided there.

“I telephoned Central Health Minister @drharshvardhan ji and requested him to visit #Kota personally so that he can see the best of facilities and proper management by State Health Department and get himself apprised of the facts,” Gehlot tweeted.

He further wrote, “Harsh Vardhan ji is himself a doctor and if he visits the hospital in #Kota, it will also clarify the situation for people, who are giving reaction mischievously, knowingly, unknowingly and also innocently.”

Centre to send ‘high-level team’ to Kota

The Centre has decided to send a high-level team comprising experts from AIIMS, Jodhpur, and health economists to Kota. Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the Centre was ready to provide any technical help or assistance.

“Let us ensure no child succumbs to preventable causes or due to lack of health system capacity,” Vardhan wrote to Gehlot.

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