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Political Priority Needed To Curb Infant Death

It is indeed heart wrenching when a mother’s dreams are shattered by the death of her infant

Tuesday January 7, 2020 5:20 PM, Pradip Bhattacharya, ummid.com

Infants Death in Hospital

The number of infant deaths in Kota, Rajasthan has become quite common in the state of Rajasthan and even perhaps common in other parts of our country too ( Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat). The reality with infant health issues surrounding medical fraternity has come to the biggest jolt now. The leading causes of infant death in the India haven't changed in recent years despite advances in science as government hospital has always shown a decreased focus on facilities for properly treating children at the hospital, say many hospital authorities in our country.

What is disappointing to note that the political aspirants both at the local and national level like Amit Shah, Smirti Irani, and many local BJP leaders are prioritizing political blame game on this very crucial issue. Is it anywhere on the radar as they(BJP) move around asking for votes? As they (BJP) speak of upgrading gas cylinder connections or Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking high on building $5 trillion economies, should not tackle infant death issue, is very surprising.

It is indeed heart wrenching when a mother’s dreams are shattered by the death of her infant. It is a blow to her family and society if it is the mother herself who sees her child dying due to lack of medical facility in the country that aspires to catch up with a $5 trillion economy mark in near future.

Government Officials always claim that children from private hospitals are sent in a critical condition to a government hospital and that is why the death rate of children increases in government hospitals. But one must introspect the reason behind such deaths. Do we lack infrastructure in Government Hospitals across the country or in just BJP-ruled states ( UP, Gujarat)? It is more questionable when 219 infants die in December 2019 at government hospitals in Gujarat- which is the home state of Modi.

According to official records, in 2019, Rajkot recorded 1235 deaths of infants, while, Jamnagar recorded 639 deaths. The reason given is that there is no adequate neonatal intensive care unit meant to admit infants weighing less than 2.5 kg. The reason behind infants getting born with less than 2.5 kg is related to malnutrition and pregnancy at the time of birth.

In Kota, where infants death crossed 110 marks, was told that the JK Lone Hospital did not have adequate facility to treat children who were admitted for Hypothermia. Hypothermia is a body temperature imbalance condition when the body temperature falls below 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit). The normal body temperature is 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 Fahrenheit).

Samajwadi Party chief and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has stated that over 1,000 infants have died in Gorakhpur and even now, ailing children in Gorakhpur were suffering from encephalitis but were administered different medicines so that the truth did not come out that they were dying of encephalitis. But the UP government has not come out with accurate statistics. If infants die due to encephalitis, such deaths are preventable and therefore unnecessary. On Kota’s death, one can assume that temperature in Kota has fallen drastically in December, and infants have a breathing problem- but what about encephalitis?

Many politicians who are raising fingers on the death of infants on Kota should know it is not Parliamentarians who are pillars of society, but yes, it is Mothers who are pillars and infants are the future. Why then BJP politicians politicize even infant deaths? We do not want the mothers to get broken hearted, distressed or worst of all see their infants dead. For mothers, without infants, whom they will bring in the society for future generations? Above all, a baby is a family and society affair and we must do everything we can to have them get treated in a safe manner in government hospital.

It is more shameful for a country that worships leaders like Mahatma Gandhi cannot provide a sophisticated hospital to treat infants wisely.

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