Infant Deaths at GB Pant Back on HC Radar

Srinagar—The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Tuesday directed Medical Superintendent of GB Pant to provide details about the infant mortality rate at the children hospital since 2012 till date.

The directions were passed by a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey after perusing a status report filed on behalf of G B Panth Hospital.

“(The report) does not indicate the complete picture with regard to the number of infants died in hospital from the period of 2012 till date on monthly or quarterly basis,” the bench said while hearing a Public Interest Litigation, filed in the aftermath of large-scale infant deaths at the hospital.

“Only facilities available in the hospital have been detailed out and there is no mention of mortality rate (in the report),” the court said, underlining that it was necessary for the court to have the position at present. The counsel representing the hospital submitted the mortality rate has been brought down by implementing the various measures as directed by the court since last several years. He said in 2012, out of 2590 infants, admitted in both IPD & OPD, 350 died in five months alone.

Subsequently, the court asked the medical superintendent of GB Pant Hospital to inform the court about the mortality rate since from 2012 till date.

In September 2015, the court had stressed need for providing all the basic facilities to the expectant mothers, observing that child when in womb must have all basic rights available to him which include proper nutrition and medical care.

The court observed that a child being a repository of future of nation, “earnest efforts have to be made by one and all to take care of a child when he is in womb of his mother as also when he breathes on the planet.”

“The child even in the womb of the mother has (to have) all basic human rights available to him. The mother, who helps the baby in her womb as a trustee is equally entitle to all the basic human rights which would further include the nutrition and medical care. These rights are recognized by Article 21 of the constitution,” the court said.

The court had underlined that it was duty of the court to ensure that the basic human rights were made available to both mother and the child.

The court had also said that there was necessity to galvanise the health administrative set up in the whole state and effective steps were required to be taken to ensure no infant dies for want of medical care.




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