As many as 18 children have died at the state-run Ahmedabad Civil Hospital in the last three days, with nine newborns succumbing in the last 24 hours. Amid the outrage and protests by the opposition, chief minister Vijay Rupani on Sunday set up a three-member expert committee to look into the deaths.
Hospital authorities were reported as saying by NDTV that most of the deaths occurred because the children were underweight and the cases had been referred from private hospitals, and that the average number of deaths of newborns in the Ahmedabad hospital is around five to six per day.
“Of the nine deaths in 24 hours, five babies were referred from distant places – Lunawada, Surendranagar, Mansa, Viramgam, Himmatnagar – and were having severe life-threatening conditions such as extremely low birth weight (around 1.1 kg), hyaline membrane disease, early onset septicaemia and disseminated intra-vascular coagulation,” the government said in a statement, the channel reported.
The opposition has slammed the BJP-run state government for lack of proper healthcare facilities in the hospital and asked for the CM and health minister Shankar Chaudhary to resign.
Rupani on Sunday told mediapersons: “We have formed a committee to take steps (on whether) there is any negligence in service that has resulted in the deaths of children. The committee’s report will come soon. According to the information I have gathered, no child has died for lack of medicine, lack of treatment or any facility in the hospital… since last night, we have sent top health officials, the health secretary and health commissioner there.”