Bhubaneswar: Alarmed over spurt of child deaths at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Post Graduate Institute of Paediatrics in Cuttack, the Odisha government today set up a technical committee to probe the issue at the state's premier paediatrics hospital, which also known as Sishu Bhawan.
"We have set up a technical committee to probe into causes of child deaths. The committee will comprise of the director of medical education and training and a paediatrician from the AIIMS, Bhubaneswar," state Health and Family Welfare minister Atanu S Nayak told the Assembly, after members cutting across party lines expressed concerns over the high casualties of children at Sishu Bhawan.
Stating that the committee would submit its report within ten days, the minister said it would also probe whether there was any negligence in treatment of the children.
"Stringent action will be taken if there is any negligence in treatment," the minister assured the House.
"It is unfortunate that 24 children died in four days and most of the victims are new borns," the minister said, adding Sishu Bhawan was the premier children care facility where patients from across Odisha and outside come every day.
An average of 400 to 450 children are brought for treatment at Sishu Bhawan, he said, adding the 24 children who died during the last four days were mostly suffering from septicaemia, meningitis, premature birth, low weight and pneumonia.
The issue of child deaths was raised in the Assembly during the Zero Hour.
While ruling party member Ranendra Pratap Swain sought a status report from the Health minister, the Opposition Congress and BJP demanded immediate action in the matter.
A total of 12 members, both from the Opposition and Treasury benches, raised the issue in the Assembly.