3 infants die in UP shelter home in 48 hours, probe ordered

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3 infants die in UP shelter home in 48 hours, probe ordered

Agra:  Three infants, all under six months of age, died at an Uttar Pradesh government-owned children’s home and pre-adoption centre between October 24 and 26, almost a month after an inspection at the centre revealed that the children were not being provided adequate nutrition.

According to an official communication, four-month-old Sunita died on the way to SN Medical College on October 24, three-month-old Prabha and two-month-old Awani, died within hours of being admitted to the hospital on October 25.

At present, two workers take care of 44 children for eight hours in each shift a day.

An additional district sessions judge had conducted an inspection at the Siroli village centre in mid September. There were 13 children then all below five years of age. He had sent a letter to the district probation officer (DPO) citing lack of proper care or nutrition for them.

However, the superintendent at the centre has blamed the sudden weather change in the city and the premature births of the babies for the deaths that started on October 24.

“I was told by the centre management that two children were lodged there in a critical condition. They were thrown away by their parents. Another child was having health complications and died during treatment,” District Magistrate Prabhu N. Singh said.

At present, 44 children below 10 years of age are lodged at the state government’s shelter facility in Agra for children who have no known guardians to look after them.

There are six women contractual workers on duty at the centre to take care of kids in three shifts which means that at a given time, there are only 2 workers to look after 44 kids.

“I have asked chief development officer J. Reebha to conduct an inspection at the centre. We will ascertain if the death of the children is due to nutritional deficiency or certain medical conditions. I have also ordered medical check-up of all the children lodged at the centre,” Singh added.

In his letter dated September 19, Additional District Sessions Judge Sarvjeet Kumar Singh had written, “By looking at children, it does not seem that they are getting an adequate amount of milk/nutritious powder.

“The children look extremely weak. The centre in-charge was not able to give any satisfactory answer when asked about the lactogen powder and food purchase register. Children are not provided milk and nutritious food as per the norms, which is objectionable.”

The judge, who is also the head of the committee for inspection of shelter homes in the district, had asked the DPO to “act as per the rules so that any adverse situation does not develop at the centre”.

“The three kids were born premature. Their health deteriorated following a sudden change in weather conditions. Proper care and nutrition are being provided to the children lodged at the centre,” Vikas Kumar, superintendent of the state government-owned children’s home, said.

 


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