Fresh probe into infants’ deaths

Published: 25th July 2013 10:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2013 10:53 AM   |  A+A-

Even as the enquiry report of the three-member expert committee, absolving doctors of any negligence in the deaths of nine newborns at VSS Medical College and Hospital, Burla, has drawn  criticism, Government on Wednesday announced to launch a fresh probe.

The Health and Family Welfare department has formed four special teams led by officers in the ranks of additional directors, who will visit the MCH as well as the families of all the victims to investigate the unusual deaths in the SNCU unit. The teams would submit their reports within seven days.

According to the notification issued by the Health department, the teams would visit the families of the babies at their native places in Sundargarh, Sambalpur, Balangir, Sonepur, Boudh and Bargarh. They would inquire into all angles right from provisioning of antenatal care to the mothers during pregnancy to coverage of the mothers under Mamata scheme.

They would ascertain if the women were brought to the hospital by the Janani Surakhya Express and if the deliveries were conducted by doctors with required support nurses and ANMs.

They will also delve into details how the critical newborns were handled in the peripheral institutions and if there was any delay in referring the newborns to VSSMCH.

The expert committee report had come under fire from different sections, who termed it a blatant cover-up.

The committee had stated that there was no negligence on the part of the doctors and staff and the SNCU was well equipped with all machines and equipment functioning properly.

But the committee had not examined the families of the victims to ascertain facts from them.

Health Minister Damodar Rout also drew  criticism for terming the deaths as mere coincidence as the enquiry was deemed incomplete without verification from the families of the victims.

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