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Jharkhand: Encephalitis, pneumonia claim lives of 800 children this year

Jharkhand: Encephalitis, pneumonia claim lives of 800 children this year

In a shocking development, over 800 children have been reported dead in two hospitals in Jharkhand this year. Sources said that authorities have attributed encephalitis as the main cause of deaths.

While a total of 660 children were reported dead at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi, another 164 deaths have been reported in the last four months from Jamshedpur-based Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital.

“This year 4,855 children were admitted and 4,195 were discharged after being cured,” Sherwal said. “(A total of) 660 children could not be saved. We have treated and cured 86.40 per cent of children,” said RIMS director BL Sherwal.

He added that 103 of the deaths took place in August.

Sources at RIMS said 51 per cent children died due to encephalitis, 17 per cent due to pneumonia and the rest due to malaria, snake bite, breathing problems and being underweight. The sources said 1,118 children died last year at RIMS.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has reportedly asked Additional Chief Secretary of the Health Department, Sudhir Tripathy, to personally probe the deaths which took place in the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital and in Gumla’s Sadar Hospital also.

Seven deaths have been reported this year from Sadar Hospital, allegedly due to medical negligence.

RIMS Superintendent A.S.K. Chaudhary has been removed after the deaths of so many children triggered an uproar. Vivek Kashyap has been appointed in his place.

RIMS Director Sherwal has urged the Health Department to relieve him from the post.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Jharkhand government over the death of 52 children at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Jamshedpur in one month.

Source: PTI
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