Kota children deaths: NHRC sends notice to Rajasthan govt

PTI

Kota: Infants undergo treatment at the JK Lone hospital, in Kota district, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. At least 100 infants have died at a government-run hospital in Kota in the past month. (PTI Photo)

Kota: Infants undergo treatment at the JK Lone hospital, in Kota district, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. At least 100 infants have died at a government-run hospital in Kota in the past month. (PTI Photo)

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Rajasthan government over the death of more than 100 infants at a state-run hospital in Kota since the beginning of December, officials said on Friday.

The rights panel, in a statement, observed that the painful death of children in such a large number is a “matter of concern” for the commission.

“The state is duty-bound to provide basic necessary medical care to its citizens,” it said.

“The NHRC has taken suo motu cognisance of media reports about the death of more than 100 children at a government-run hospital in Kota district of Rajasthan in the month of December,” the statement read.

The commission has issued notice to the chief secretary of the state, seeking a detailed report within four weeks, including on the steps being taken to address the issue and to ensure that in future children do not die due to lack of infrastructure and health facilities at the hospitals, it said.

The state authorities have reportedly stated that the number of deaths is “low in comparison with earlier years”, the NHRC statement said.

“As per the statistics quoted by the state authorities, 963 children have died in the year 2019 at JK Lon government hospital while this figure was above 1000 in the preceding years,” the rights panel said, quoting reports.

The commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights.

“Ten out of 100 children died between December 23 and 24. Reportedly, over 50 per cent of the gadgets installed in the hospital are defunct and the hospital is lacking cleanliness and basic infrastructure including oxygen supply in the Intensive Care Unit,” the NHRC said quoting reports.

(PTI)