Odisha government criticised over infant deaths case

Bhubaneswar, Aug 30 (IANS) The Odisha unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday criticised the state government over the death of at least 49 infants in Sishu Bhawan in Cuttack in the last 10 days.

The party has decided to gherao all the 314 blocks on September 2 to protest the “state government’s failure to provide adequate health facilities to the infants resulting in spate of deaths” in the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics (SVPPGIP), also known as Sishu Bhawan.

“Despite the increasing number of infant deaths at the hospital, the state government has turned a mute spectator to this grave crisis and not taking any steps. It is also not filling up doctors’ posts lying vacant in the hospital,” said senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra.

He further said that the party workers would stage demonstration in front of all Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) and Additional District Medical Officer (ADMO) offices.

However, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) said that the opposition parties should not indulge in politics over the infant deaths issue.

“We don’t feel that the infant deaths have been caused by negligence. The health minister is personally monitoring the situation. The issue of infant deaths should not be politicised,” said BJD spokesperson Amar Satapathy.

Over 5,900 infants have died in the referral hospital while undergoing treatment in the last five years.

As per the health department report, as many as 3,869 infant have died in OPD, while 2,034 have died in ICU in last five years starting from 2010-11 to 2014-15.


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