Outrage over newborn’s death in Andhra hospital

Guntur: The death of a 10-day-old boy after he was bitten by rats at a government-run hospital here sparked outrage on Thursday with various groups staging protests.
Activists of various opposition parties and non-political groups staged protest at Government General Hospital (GGH), seeking stern action against the officials responsible for the negligence which led to the newborn’s death on Wednesday.
Workers of main opposition YSR Congress party tried to barge into the hospital as they wanted to meet the ministers who were present inside the premises.
Activists of Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Madiga Reservation Porata Samiti (MRPS) also staged protests. They demanded a compensation of Rs.10 lakh for the family of the newborn.
The 10-day-old baby was bit by rodents twice in three days in Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The newborn’s mother C. Lakshmi said she noticed the injuries near left eye and fingers on Sunday and again on Wednesday and informed the doctors but they did not respond.
The infant, born in Vijayawada, was suffering from congenital urinary tract disorder. He was referred to GGH, Guntur and was under observation for a week.
C. Nagaraju, a daily wage earner, and his wife Lakshmi had repeatedly complained to the hospital staff about the danger posed by rats in the premises.
Health mister Kamineni Srinivas along with three other ministers and Guntur MP Galla Jayadev visited the hospital.
The health minister told reporters that stern action would be taken against those found guilty. He said action would also be taken against those who failed to take action despite complaint by Lakshmi, mother of the newborn.
Terming the incident shameful, he announced Rs.5 lakh compensation for the family of the victim.
He said the incident would be probed at three levels.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu late Wednesday suspended three officials and announced a probe by the health secretary.
The minister said police had booked a case on the complaint by Lakshmi and they would conduct an inquiry. A judicial probe will also be instituted.
The health minister said a special sanitation drive would be launched at the hospital.
“The government will take all steps to ensure that such incidents don’t recur,” Srinivas said.