Gorakhpur Ghost returns: About 60 children died in 72 hours at BRD Hospital

File Photo (PTI)

There has been a state of panic again in Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur where about 60 deaths of children have been reported on 27, 28, 29 August 2017.

These deaths have occurred from various causes including encephalitis, pneumonia, sepsis and health complications in newborns.The records of the hospital in past 72 hours show the following- 11 in the encephalitis ward, 25 in neonatal intensive care unit (NNICU) and another 25 in the general paediatric ward.

In the starting of the month of August several children were reported to die (some sources said 30 while others said 60 in mere 48 hours) due to alleged shortage of oxygen supply as the supply was cut off from the supplier due to non-payment of dues from hospital administration. This incident shook the conscious of the nation and created a furore in media. Unfortunately in a display of unaccountability the Health Minister of UP, Siddharth Nath Singh made a statement that it is usual for children to die in month of August. However following this incident, the state government increased the strength of doctors and paramedical staff in the hospital. But due to the large inflow of infected children, the wards are packed and three to four children are adjusted on one bed. The medical college receives patients from 36 eastern UP districts and Nepal and at any given time has about 500 such patients.


The sources say that number of deaths of children will continue to rise in coming days due to heavy rainfall, floods and water-logging which foster the spread of acute encephalitis syndrome (AES). The administration seem to have no preparation done on a prior basis to tackle the situation. Dr R N Singh, a paediatrician, who has worked extensively in the field of encephalitis, said: “Insufficient homework was done to control the outspread of AES in January, and thereafter the entire machinery remained busy in the UP elections. Secondly, heavy monsoon also accounts for a large number of cases among children,” Singh said, adding that measures like fogging to kill mosquitoes (Japanese Encephalitis), de-silting, vaccination and chlorination of water were not done in time.

It is to be known that Gorakhpur has been the constituency of newly elected UP Chief Minister Shri Adityanath since 1998. The reported deaths are from hospital records only. We do not have data on the number of deaths of children happening in the community who ae not able to reach hospital. In a disease outbreak it is expected hospital deaths are mere tip of the iceberg of larger number of deaths and cases in the community. It is a clear case of health system failure as the cause of deaths has now expanded to include diseases other than encephalitis.

Source : Jansatta



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