Odisha child death toll rises to 28 in 5 days

Cuttack: With four more infants dying in the past 24 hours, the child death toll at the state run Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics here rose to 28 in five days, hospital officials said today.

Twenty four deaths of newborns and other children were reported between Friday and midnight last night, the officials said.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Atanu S Nayak announced setting up a high level technical committee to probe the crib death cases.

An internal enquiry of the hospital, locally known as 'Sishu Bhawan' had ruled out negligence by medical staff.

Officials said said the death rate in the hospital started going up since last year when the paediatric unit of SCB Medical College and Hospital was merged with it.

Besides, with introduction of 108 Ambulance Service, the hospital receives critical patients, who were referred here in moribund conditions from far off rural pockets.

While the Hospital recorded 488 deaths in 2010-11, its casualty figure mounted to 1114 in 2014-15 and 564 of them died while undergoing treatment in ICU, officials said.

Meanwhile, Congress and BJP today staged protests here separately demanding resignation of the state Health Minister for spurt in crib deaths in Sishu Bhawan.

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