DHENKANAL: As many as 20 newborns delivered in District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) reportedly suffered from jaundice between March and April 14. A girl child, delivered on April 10, died on Wednesday of neonatal jaundice. Though she was detected to be suffering from jaundice, both mother and child were discharged from the hospital on the day of delivery without treatment.
Two babies have died in the past one week. Shortage of phototherapy machines and staff crunch have crippled health services in Special Neonatal Care Unit (SNCU) in DHH. The phototherapy machines, essential to cure the babies of jaundice, are lying defunct.
According to hospital sources, as many as five newborns have been affected by jaundice and are under treatment. Two other babies were shifted to Sishu Bhawan, Cuttack, two days back as only two phototherapy machines are functional.
Besides, absence of trained staff to manage the units has further hit services. The newborn babies are being treated in general ward increasing the risk of contracting infections. There is no space for use of warmer machines in the ward, said senior specialist Dr RK Seth. In Wednesday’s case, the newborn girl child was brought to the hospital in a critical condition, said Seth.
Chief District Medical Officer Dr SK Das said he has apprised the Health Secretary of the crisis and requested for engagement of nine trained staff to run the SNCU. Last week, Health Secretary Arti Ahuja had visited the hospital.
The CDMO said doctors are forced to refer patients to other hospitals under such conditions. But the poor people are unable to go to other hospitals as they cannot afford expensive treatment, he added.