Of the nearly 72,000 children admitted to the Sick Newborn Care (SNC) units of government hospitals across Gujarat, over 15,000 died in 2 years, even as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government claims to be a leading state on all fronts.
In reply to questions by Congress MLAs about total children born in government hospitals, Deputy Chief Minister and Health Minister Nitin Patel said 106,000 infants were born in government hospitals in major cities of the state in 2018 and 2019.
Of this, 71,774 infants were admitted to SNC units. During the period, 15,013 infants died during treatment, which is almost 21 per cent of the admitted children.
The maximum number of deaths (4,322) was reported from Ahmedabad. Of the 12,637 infants admitted, 34.2 per cent died. In Vadodara, of the 6,576 infants admitted in SNC units, 2,362 infants died (35.91 per cent). In Surat, of the 9,667 infants admitted in SNC units, 1,986 infants died (20.5 per cent).
Patel said the government was taking steps to curb infants deaths during treatment. The steps included priority to the appointment of paediatricians and medical officers, and imparting special training to doctors and nursing staff, as well as maintaining adequate stock of equipment and other essential items at these units.