`Some two lakh babies die of infection per year`

New Delhi: As many as 190,000 babies die in the first four weeks of birth every year in India due to a bacterial infection acquired in the hospital, a study said here Wednesday.

"Around one million Indian children die in the first four weeks of life each year. Of these deaths, 190,000 are caused by sepsis -- a bacterial infection," said the study conducted by the centre for disease dynamics, economics, and policy (CDDEP).

Sepsis, a treatable illness, is caused when a bacteria infects the blood stream. Experts say the bacterial infection is high due to the presence of hospital-acquired infections (HAI).

"It is not a healthy trend to see babies dying due to unconscious antibiotic usage by adults. When we use antibiotics after prescription or proper guidance, we strengthen the bacteria that works against the babies," said CDDEP director Ramanan Laxminarayan.

Premature babies are vulnerable to infections as their bodies lack antibodies that help in fighting infections.

"The aim should be to introduce people to judicious antibiotic usage that will help us fight antibiotic resistance (ABR)," Laxminarayan said.


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