NHRC notice to J&K Government over infants’ death in a Srinagar hospital.

The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report alleging that four infants died within 24 hours at G.B. Pant Hospital, Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir, between 2nd – 3rd May, 2013.  It has also been alleged that there have had been several hundred infant casualties in the first half of 2012 in the main childcare facility of the same hospital.  Nearly four thousand children were reported to have died during the last four years in the hospital.  The State Government had blamed deaths on lack of infrastructure and mismanagement of services at the hospital.

The Commission has observed that given the circumstances, it would like to have a complete report about the conditions in the G.B. Pant Hospital, Srinagar.  In its notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Jammu & Kashmir, returnable in four weeks, the Commission has emphasized upon the need to exercise utmost care and vigil in the maintenance of life saving support equipments in the hospital to save lives.

According to the media report, the hospital authorities denied the allegations that the deaths were caused due to a snag in the oxygen concentrator system as a result of power fluctuation as it has sufficient back-up facility for 12-18 hours.  It claimed that the infants were suffering from various ailments.  On the other hand, another senior doctor at the hospital has admitted that there was a snag in the oxygen concentrator system due to strong winds and one of the infants had died during that night.

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