Death of children: NHRC issues notice to State
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary, returnable in six weeks, seeking a detailed report, on the allegations that as many as 691 children had died in the last seven-and-a-half months in the SVRR government general hospital in the temple town of Tirupati.
The Commission was acting on the media reports, which claimed that the hospital, which catered to the poor people living in and around Tirupati in Chittoor district, had bad infrastructure and inadequate staff and this could be one of the reasons for the deaths of infants in the paediatric department. The reports claimed that in the paediatric ward, there were only 12 doctors against the required strength of 30. All the doctors work at SV Medical College attached to the SVRR hospital. A majority of them were entrusted with the additional responsibilities including, among others, inspection of private medical colleges and invigilation at exams.
At any given time, there would be not less than 200 children, of whom 75 per cent get admitted with serious ailments, as against the bed strength of 90. Due to this, two or three children undergoing treatment share a single bed in the hospital.
Even The Hindu had reported that on August 18/19 this year, five children had breathed their last in the Paediatric Intensive Care unit.
The hospital had claimed that the five children died due to different disorders such as respiratory problem, low birth weight and acute malnutrition.
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