Uttarakhand: Children in danger on the mountain, 386 newborns children died in a year


The cases of deaths of newborns in Rajasthan and Gujarat are worrying about the condition of health services, the situation in Kumaon is no different. If Sushila Tiwari Hospital (STH) of Haldwani in Nainital district alone combined the death toll of 218 children, 386 children died within a year in Kumaon.

Most government hospitals in Mandal do not even have SNCU facilities. STH, the largest hospital in the Mandal, has a 20-bed SNCU and only four beds have ventilator facilities.

The women’s hospital at Haldwani also does not have the facility of SNCU (Special Neonatal Care Unit). In the last one year, 4551 children were born, while three children were born dead.

Almora has pediatrician posts but does not have SNCU and ventilator facilities in government and private hospitals in the district. There is definitely a four-bed warmer. Eight newborns have died in the district in a year. Five of them are from the Ranikhet region. There have been 24 premature deliveries at the District Women’s Hospital. Senior pediatrician Dr. Preeti Pant said that three newborns have also died due to congenital malformation.

On the other hand, the Champawat district has two SNCUs. In 2019, a total of 2408 babies were born in Champawat district. 27 babies died during this period. Pithoragarh District Women’s Hospital has four beds in SNCU. Within the last year, 13 premature infants have died in the district.

Dr. JS Nabiyal, Senior Pediatrician and PMS of Har Govind Pant District Women’s Hospital Pithoragarh, said that premature babies do not develop. Especially their lungs do not develop. There is no system of treatment of such infants.

Not a single SNCU in Bageshwar district has ventilator facilities. The four-bed SNCU in the district hospital has only warmer facilities. The condition of the bed system is that even the wife of former SP Lokeshwar Singh had to refer from here. 31 newborns died in Bageshwar district. Due to the lack of a transparent system, the average reporting of maternal deaths is also not complete. Because of this there is a lot of difference between reality and government claims.

A proposal has been sent through departmental officers to install ventilators on four beds or to create a new room of six beds. From April 1 to December 31, 89 newborns have died in Udham Singh Nagar district. Whereas last year the number was 147. There is no provision of SNCU with a ventilator anywhere in the district including Jawaharlal Nehru District Hospital, LD Bhatt Joint Hospital Kashipur, Civil Hospital Khatima. Warmer is available only in the name of SNCU facility.

Pregnant women of poor sections of Rudrapur, Kichha, Shantipuri, Gadarpur, Dineshpur, etc. are dependent on the district hospital located in Rudrapur for delivery. It has a 12-bed SNCU. From April 1, 2019 to December 31, 19 thousand, 656 children were born in the district. Of these, 89 newborns have died after delivery.

Ajayvir Singh Chauhan, manager of Jawaharlal Nehru District Hospital, says that the district hospital does not have ventilator facilities. When CMO Dr Shailaja Bhatt wanted to get information about this, he refused to give information citing a meeting.

Lack of SNCU is the major cause of newborn deaths

Retired CMO of Champawat district and Dr. Madan Bohra, posted as a pediatrician in the base hospital, said that there are many reasons for the death of newborns, many of them in a large number of Terai areas including a large mountainous district. Due to not being a pediatrician, the illness of the newborn is not detected at the right time and they die due to delay in taking them to Haldwani or Higher Center. Apart from this, the other big reason is not the provision of the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU).

Where                          how many deaths
Nainital (STH):                          218
Bageshwar:                                  31
Champawat:                                27
Udham Singh Nagar:                89
Pithoragarh:                               13
Almora:                                       08

In order to reduce infant mortality in Kumaon division, nurses and ANMs are being trained for safe delivery. Many nurses and ANMs have been trained so far. Through ASHA workers, pregnant women are being made aware of delivery in institutional centers like government hospitals or from trained nurses and ANMs. So that during childbirth there is no threat to the life of both mother and child. SNCU is not in the district hospital in the mountains. The proposal for SNCU has been sent to the Central Government. SNCUs will be formed if the proposal gets a green signal.
– Dr. Sanjay Sah, Director In-charge of Health (Kumaon Division)

The 20-bed SNCU has four ventilators. In the next financial year, a proposal will be sent to the government that five ventilators be increased. After the ventilator increases, newborns and children will be able to get better treatment.
– Dr. CP Bhaisoda Principal Government Medical College

Haldwani Situation Medical College alone in the Nainital district has the facility of fully equipped SNCU. No other hospital has this facility. SNCU facility has been provided in Haldwani Women’s Hospital, but due to a shortage of staff, it is not being utilized yet.
– Dr. TK Tamta, Deputy CMO District Hospital Nainital


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