The Rajasthan government on Thursday set up a three-member committee to probe the deaths of over 85 children in two months in the Banswara district hospital, an official said.
“Health Minister Kali Charan Saraf directed the District Collector to investigate the matter and submit a report in three days. He also directed for setting up a three-member departmental committee to look into the issue after visiting the MG Hospital in Banswara,” a senior Medical and Health Department official told IANS.
The Banswara Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) said the district hospital had recorded deaths of 86 children who were less than one month old in the July-August period.
He said the reasons for the deaths vary from birth asphyxia, low weight to pneumonia and infections.
Banswara district is mainly a tribal area with a population of 20 lakh but only one government hospital that faces crunch of specialists and doctors.
Former Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Wednesday flayed the Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state over the children’s deaths through a series of tweets.
“A very sad news from Banswara, where almost 80 infants have died in two months in MG Hospital.”
“Most unfortunate that neither the mothers nor their newborns, both suffering from malnutrition, are taken care of. These cases relate to mostly Adivasi women, living in abject poverty.”
“Most vulnerable sections are the most neglected in BJP-ruled states. Along with Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand, the BJP government in Rajasthan has also failed in saving the lives of children.”
He demanded that the state government take immediate steps to provide proper care and nutrients to expactant women in the area.