Sat. May 18th, 2024

A government hospital in Maharashtra’s Nanded has seen a tragic series of 31 deaths in just three days, including 16 children. These deaths highlight the heartbreaking stories of the families who desperately tried to save their loved ones but were failed by a dysfunctional medical infrastructure.

One such family, who lost two members including a newborn, spoke to NDTV about their devastating experience. Anjali, a twenty-one-year-old from Nanded district, was admitted to Dr Shankarrao Chavan Government Medical College and Hospital on Saturday. Shortly after, she gave birth to a healthy son, bringing joy to her brother, mother, and other relatives who were present. However, their happiness was short-lived.

“On Monday, the doctors informed us that the baby had died and that my sister’s condition was critical. Today, they told us that she had passed away,” said Rajiv, Anjali’s brother. The family gathered outside the hospital, waiting for their daughter’s body while Rajiv tried to console his grieving mother. In just three days, they went from welcoming a grandchild to mourning the loss of their daughter.

When asked about the cause of death, Rajiv stated, “They are saying my sister died due to blood loss. But we had made arrangements for blood; we had made arrangements for everything. There are no competent doctors here. No patient should come to this hospital.”

Rajiv also mentioned that they hadn’t informed Anjali about her son’s death to protect her from the shock. “She was searching for the baby after he died. We didn’t tell her, but we couldn’t save her,” he said.

As a brick-maker, Rajiv revealed that the family had borrowed money with interest to cover his elder sister’s treatment costs. “We spent Rs 45,000, and my mother even sold her gold earrings. But it was all in vain. My sister is dead,” he lamented.

The family alleged that there was a shortage of senior doctors, and only trainee doctors attended to Anjali. Fighting back tears, a woman relative stated, “We bring people here to get better. We are poor, where else can we go?”

When Rajiv was informed that the hospital authorities denied any shortage of doctors or medicines, he strongly disagreed. “There are no medicines. They would write down the names of medicines, and we had to buy them from outside. Even tests are not being conducted here. We had to get them done at a private laboratory,” he revealed. The family also claimed that the blood pouches they obtained for Anjali were used for other patients’ treatment.

The alarming increase in deaths at the Nanded hospital raises serious concerns about the facility’s infrastructure and cleanliness. During a visit, NDTV observed pigs roaming near the hospital canteen. A contractual sweeper mentioned that there was a staff shortage, with one worker responsible for cleaning multiple wards. “Every ward should have two-three cleaners. How can one person manage multiple wards?” he questioned.

With the news of these deaths making national headlines, political leaders have rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, knee-jerk reactions have occurred, such as the local Shiv Sena MP making the acting dean of the hospital clean a dirty toilet. A case has now been registered against the MP, Hemant Patil.

The Maharashtra government maintains that there is no shortage of medicines or doctors at the Nanded hospital. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde stated that his government takes these deaths seriously but denies any medication shortages.

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By admin