NHRC issues notice to Maharashtra Govt. over newborn deaths in Akola district

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday issued a notice to the Government of Maharashtra, through its Chief Secretary, after taking suo moto cognisance of media reports about the high number of deaths at the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) in Akola district’s Women’s Hospital.

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4,170 infants were admitted to the SNCU – out of them 1,472 died in 2016-17.

The Medical Superintendent has reportedly stated that every month, they admit at least 250 babies in the SNCU and there was a need for more hands to cope up with the high number of patients.

The State Government has been given six weeks time to respond to the reported allegations. The Commission has observed that the statistics mentioned in the news report, carried on the October 16, 2017, if correct, clearly indicates towards a shortage of doctors, nurses and other staff at the government hospital.

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The deaths of the newly-born babies in such a large number are indicative of gross negligence on the part of the state government, hospital management and the concerned departments. This amounts to a serious issue of violation of human rights of the innocent babies as well as their families and demands an immediate time-bound action by the State Government, the notice adds.

The Commission, therefore, has called for a detailed report in the matter giving a point-wise reply to the figures mentioned in the news reports and the steps being taken or proposed to be taken to deal with the gruesome situation.


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