Kota child death cases: Central multidisciplinary experts team to assist state govt

Dr Harsh Vardhan speaks to Rajasthan Chief Minister on Kota child deaths while assuring him full support to tackle the situation

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Jaipur: “I have spoken to Mr Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan and assured him of all possible support to prevent further deaths in the Kota tragedy matter. A multi-disciplinary team of experts including top paediatricians is being sent by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to support the State government for gap analysis & quick measures to be taken. The team will reach Kota tomorrow”. This was stated by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare today.

The high-level team includes the following:

(1) Dr Kuldeep Singh, Head of Paediatrics and Dean Academies, AIIMS Jodhpur

(2) Dr Deepak Saxena, Senior Regional Director, Rajasthan, H&FW, GOI

(3) Dr.Arun Singh, Prof of Neonatology, AIIMS, Jodhpur.

(4) Dr: Himanshu Bhushan, Adviser, NHSRC, Ministry of Health.

The team of experts along with carry out join gap analysis along with the state Government in terms of clinical protocols, service delivery, manpower availability and equipment for maternal, newborn and paediatric care services in the Medical College Kota, Rajasthan; and will develop a joint action plan based on gap analysis for providing required technical and financial support to Kota Medical College through National Health Mission and State Medical Education Department. The team members will visit JK Lone Hospital and Medical College, Kota along with State government officials from 3 January 2020 and submit the detailed report.

In a recent letter written to the State Chief Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan has expressed concern about the child deaths at the J K Lon Hospital of Kota Medical College, Rajasthan. He stated that while it is heartening to note that the State of Rajasthan is persistently showing significant decline in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) for the last four years, available information from Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU) under the National Health Mission and the State Government have showed higher mortality rate of 20.2% in J. K. Lon Hospital, Kota, during 2019 in comparison to the preceding two years (Year 2018 = 14.3%; Year 2017=4.3%).

Further, the Union Health Minister has requested the Chief Minister, Rajasthan to “assess the situation and take proactive steps to avoid these preventable child deaths. We, from the Government of India, are ready to provide any technical assistance in this matter. We look forward to your continued support and cooperation for Improving child survival in the country, so as to ensure that no child succumbs to preventable causes or due to lack of our health system capacity.”