Vaccination alone unlikely to end Gorakhpur deaths

Access to medical hubs, better staff and awareness drive must to solve issue

Gorakhpur, Gorakhpur tragedy, deaths

The Centre’s committee that visited BRD stated the hospital had filled only four of 12 vacancies for senior residents and the nursing staff was untrained to handle babies.

Sahil Makkar Gorakhpur | New Delhi
An average of 20 deaths a day in a medical college was “normal”, Gorakhpur District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela told journalists on the night of August 11, after 23 children had died allegedly due to oxygen shortage at the Baba Raghav Das (BRD) Medical College.

Rautela was right, at least in the case of the Gorakhpur-based hospital, where on an average 19 people had died daily in 2015 and 17 had succumbed to diseases in 2016. What Rautela didn’t disclose was the number of deaths in the pediatric department and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), where children are treated for acute encephalitis syndrome (AES), which includes Japanese encephalitis (JE) and other water- and vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue.

First Published: Aug 21 2017 | 02:20 AM IST

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