Black days has been marked in the medical calendar of Rajasthan as the infant mortality rate has been rocketing since December 2019 in the government-run JK Lon hospital. The number of infant death has crossed the century figure of 106 in January 2020. This case turns out to be more tragic as ten infants were reported dead within 48 hours in December 2019. The death rates in JK Lon hospital were twice compared to the rest of the state in 2019.
As per the reports, 22 nebulisers out of 28 were dysfunctional, while 81 infusion pumps out of 111 were not working, the para monitors and pulse oxymeters were insufficient and not functioning. Moreover, there was an absence of oxygen pipeline in the hospital due to which oxygen was supplied to kids with the help of cylinders. Reports also stated that the ICU was not fumigated for months.
The central government has sent a team of BJP members and a team of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to heed the prevailing situation in the hospital. BJP has stated that the ruling party in Rajasthan, Congress is not doing enough to safeguard the health of children and that the state government is not providing enough help to hospital authorities. While Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan has assured that the primary focus will be given to this situation and asked not to politicize the issue. The state health secretary has claimed that the reasons behind this tragic infant mortality rate are due to the shortage of medical equipments, systematic and infrastructural deficiencies, infection-prone wards, lack of staff, broken windows and gates.
In this farfetched condition, proper steps have not been initiated yet. One of the current progresses in the hospital is that doors are being restored and painted; however, basic health care requirements are still lacking. Hospital has transferred the head of the pediatric department, and four new assistant professors are appointed from Kota medical college.
This medical adversity has opened up a political blame game between BJP and Congress. BJP had held the state government entirely responsible for the mounting infant mortality rate, while Chief Minister replied to this accusation by pointing out that thousands had died when BJP was in rule, but only hundreds have died during Congress governance.
In this political blame game, its high time for the Rajasthan state Government to counter-attack the opposing party by taking some serious measures rather than accusing each other. Its time to take real steps and consider health as not games and numbers but as life.