SRINAGAR: President Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan Friday declared deaths of 131 infants in 44 days as alarming.
“It is shocking and infuriating that despite uproar over infant deaths in 2010, government has failed to control the infant mortality. This huge increase in infant deaths is beyond doubt result of poor healthcare system,” he said in a statement here.
He said the commonest cause of infant mortality in our set up is birth asphyxia and neonatal sepsis “caused by unhygienic methods of delivery practiced by unqualified persons at peripheral health centers.”
“The deliveries are conducted by women helpers and sweepers in peripheral health centers, and it is criminal. In peripheries, there is mushrooming of unregistered private clinics run by quacks who conduct deliveries in extremely ‘inhuman’ conditions. Even in this modern era most of the deliveries are conducted at home, resulting in infant deaths,” he said.
‘Sick Neonatal Care Units’ in district hospitals, he said, is an “eye wash” as “they lack infrastructure.”
“These units are without proper oxygen delivery system, proper heating system, and even ventilators. Unqualified doctors run these units,” he said. “Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Lal Ded Hospital is the sole tertiary-care maternity center, and it too is deficient in the gadgetry and skilled doctors.”
Dr Nisar said the delay in shifting the sick neonates from peripheries to the children’s hospital here is another major cause of infant deaths.
“The golden time is wasted with the delay in transportation, resulting in infant deaths,” he said, adding that the “historical blunder” by politicians and policymakers of segregating the Lal Ded and Children’s hospitals has resulted in increase in infant deaths.