Last Updated: September 18, 2022, 23:03 IST
Odisha Health and Family Welfare Minister NK Das on Sunday sought a report from the Keonjhar district administration on the death of 13 children in a span of 18 days due to alleged negligence at the pediatric ward of a state run hospital in the mineral rich district. The minister’s action came after a large number of people at the Keonjhar district headquarters hospital staged an agitation demanding action against doctors whose alleged negligence led to the death of children.
“This is an unfortunate incident. We must ascertain the cause of the children’s death. I have asked the Keonjhar district authorities to find out the reason behind the incident,” the minister told reporters.
The relatives of the deceased children alleged that the doctor did not visit the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) of the hospital on Saturday night where critical patients were being treated. This led to the death of children.
Additional District Medical Officer, Keonjhar, Kishore Prusty admitted that three children have died in the last 24 hours.
“Three children have died in the last 24 hours. Thirteen children have died in the last 18 days. A total of 122 children have been admitted in the hospital until September 18…,” Prusty told reporters at Keonjhar.
As people started attacking public properties at the hospital, senior police and health officials rushed to pacify the agitators.
“My younger brother’s son was admitted to the hospital. He died due to negligence by the doctor and nurses,” alleged Mithun Nayak. He said the child was admitted to ICU and he died for not getting oxygen support in time.
Doctors and nurses should always be available in emergencies. But, they were not present on Saturday night, Nayak alleged.