Child deaths in Kota: the NCPCR writes to the head of government of Rajasthan after a senior health official missed the call to appear

NEW DELHI: Taking a serious view of the lack of appearance of the head of medical health of Kota (CMHO) in response to a subpoena in the matter involving the death of more than 100 children in a government hospital in the district, National Commission for the Protection of the Rights of the Child (NCPCR) has now written to the chief secretary of Rajasthan to ensure that CMHO appears with the relevant documents on January 7.

The senior bureaucrat has also been informed that the secretary of the medical education department has not presented a report on the matter.

In the new call, NCPCR warned Dr. BS Tanwar of CMHO that he must act in accordance with the rules if he does not appear before the commission.

In the letter to Rajasthan's chief secretary, Devendra Bhushan Gupta, NCPCR chief Priyank Kanoongo said the commission had learned in Kota in December. Kanoongo then conducted an investigation into the matter by visiting the hospital on December 29.

On December 30, a justified cause notice was sent to Vaibhav Galriya, secretary of the medical education department to respond to the observations made by the commission within three days on the observations made by the NCPCR team. However, so far no response has been received, Kanoongo said.

NCPCR has observed in its investigation that there were no glass in the window panes, the doors were broken and as a result the admitted children suffered in extreme weather conditions. General maintenance and hospital maintenance are in poor condition. Pigs were found roaming the hospital campus. There was no AMC record of the hospital team before the commission during the visit. The team was also informed that only nine fans were operating at 15 at the time of the incident. While seeking an explanation on all these aspects, the commission also sought information on the equipment that was not working when 10 children died within 48 hours. It was observed that the hospital has an acute staff deficiency and has no power according to the rules of.

The NCPCR has also reported that during its visit and meeting with the district administration and hospital authorities, CMHO was not present despite several calls made to it. In the citation before CMHO, issued on December 30, NCPCR sought to know the action taken against those responsible for negligence and the preventive measures taken so far. NCPCR noted that during the investigation they learned that one of the reasons for the death of the children was that they were underweight and that their mothers were anemic. The commission has requested data on the number of children with low weight in the district.

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