Although primary health centres have certified doctors, there is a crippling shortage of paediatricians in Nashik to help treat children of malnourishment and other ailments

After MiD DAY exposed the problem of malnourishment in Nashik ('619 babies died hungry last year', September 4) more problems have surfaced. This time, it has been revealed, that there are very few paediatric doctors in the district owing to which there is very little attention paid to children and newborns.

According to the chairman of the Women and Child Welfare Committee Dr Sangita Patil, there is a dearth of medical help for young ones, which is a grave problem. Explaining the situation, she said that every primary centre in the district had two certified doctors but no specialists. "There is a need for paediatricians to pay attention to the children who are born weak and require medical assistance. We have asked the department to fill in the posts immediately."

According to Patil, children in the district are already a neglected lot, as most of them have to contend with little or no food most of the times. Also, parents seldom take their children to the primary health centres -- the first option for villages to seek medical treatment � and when they do it is almost always a little too late.

Officials from the Zilla Parishad claim that most children fall sick in the monsoon as they are more prone to water-borne diseases and the lack of food makes them only that much more prone to illnesses.

Ranjeet Kumar, the CEO of the Zilla Parishad conducted a surprise visit at the centres in Harshul Taluka.

"I checked the condition of the patients and also wanted to see the facilities provided and although some things can be improved, things are fine here. I've made a report about it and would be submitting it," said Kumar.