Gorakhpur deaths: NHRC notice to UP government

Notice to Uttar Pradesh government over deaths of several children in BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur

GN Bureau | August 14, 2017


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 The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government following the death of several children in the BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur. The commission has called for a detailed report along with the steps taken for relief and rehabilitation of the affected families as well as action taken against the guilty officers within four weeks.

 The notice sent to the UP chief secretary follows the suo motu cognizance taken by the rights commission of several media reports hinting at negligence in the supply of liquid oxygen at the hospital, which resulted in the tragedy. 
 
NHRC observed that the deaths, in such a large number in a government run hospital, amount to serious violation of right to life and health of the innocent victims. This indicates gross callousness on part of the hospital administration and the medical education and health department of the state. Earlier too, it has come across several instances of deaths in the hospitals due to Japanese Encephalitis. 
 
The commission observed that the issue of deaths due to Japanese Encephalitis was discussed with the chief secretary and other senior officers of the state government in detail during its Open Hearing and Camp Sitting at Lucknow for the cases of Uttar Pradesh from August 9 to 11. However, in spite of assurance given by the state administration, the situation has not improved. 
 
According to the various media reports, carried since August 12, the private firm contracted to supply liquid oxygen to the BRD Medical College, stopped the supplies, as it was not paid the outstanding dues of almost Rs. 70 Lakh and the result was deaths of about 60 children who were admitted in the neo-natal and encephalitis wards of the hospital.
 
As per media reports, the magisterial inquiry has been ordered by the administration to ascertain the cause of deaths. In the last three decades, JE and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) have claimed over 50,000 lives in eastern Uttar Pradesh, mostly in Gorakhpur district. 
 
A total of 124 deaths were reported in the hospital till August 8, 2017. As many as 641 children died last year and 491 in the year 2015.
 

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