Experts sent to Odisha for ‘Sishu Bhawan’ suggest improvements

New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) An expert’s team sent by the union health ministry to Odisha following the death of children at Cuttack’s Sishu Bhawan has made suggestions for improving competence and preparedness to deal with the critical cases.

The team was sent to extend support to Odisha after children’s deaths at Sardar Vallabhbhai Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics, also known as Sishu Bhawan.

Following media reports regarding the deaths of some children in the tertiary care referral hospital, union Health Minister J.P. Nadda has directed a team of paediatric experts to Odisha to extend all support and assistance to the state in examining the reasons that may have contributed to the deaths of these children.

The team has been also directed to suggest immediate/short term and long term measures that would avert such occurrences in future through effective management and preparedness.

The short term measures recommended for improving conditions of the institute include mobilising more senior residents (post MD) to strengthen the current team at the institute for strict monitoring of the sick children; round the clock availability of lab facilities of emergency investigations inside the hospital.

It has also been suggested for mobilisation/appointment of lab technicians, radiographers and paramedical staff to manage these services round the clock; availability of all life support drugs and higher antibiotics free of cost.

Besides stationing more nursing staff specially in emergency areas; converting one area into high dependency area more intense round the clock management; and a regular strict infection surveillance system include the suggestions.

“The long term measures recommended by the team of experts include attention to areas such as creation of more medical and paramedical posts; creation of round the clock in house Lab and Investigation facility (CT, MRI),” a health ministry statement said.

The recommendations include “creation of computerized medical record system where the data and investigation report can be assessed at any time and in any area; appointment of counselors and social workers amongst others”, it added.

The ministry had also directed to send a team of required specialists to assist the state in management of the critical cases of children that require urgent attention. Under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY), the health minister has also approved the SCB Medial College for upgradation. This is going to help Sishu Bhawan, which is a part of the medical college.A

“The minister of state (independent charge), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan, reviewed the situation in presence of the central team and the state government officials…and assured all help from the central government,” the ministry said in the statement.

Arun K. Panda, additional secretary to the health ministry, led the team of three experts/specialists to Odisha.

“The team comprised paediatrics and specialists from Lady Hardinge Medical College, Dr. RML Hospital and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi. The team was assisted by an assistant professor from AIIMS, Bhubaneshwar,” it added.

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