The highest number of infant deaths - 4,322 - were reported from Ahmedabad district. (Photo Credit: Representative image)
More than 15,000 infants died during their treatment for various ailments at newborn care units across Gujarat during the last two years, the state government told the Assembly on Tuesday. These deaths were reported from Sick Newborn Care Units, set up in almost all districts of the state.
Responding to a set of questions raised by Congress MLAs during the Question Hour, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, who also handles the health portfolio, said out of the 1.06 lakh infants admitted to such units during 2018 and 2019 across Gujarat, 15,013 babies died during their treatment.
In his written reply, Patel said of these 1.06 lakh children, 71,774 were those who were born in civil hospitals, but referred to Sick Newborn Care Units for further treatment. Another 34,727 infants were those who were born elsewhere and referred to these care units, the minister said.
The highest number of infant deaths - 4,322 - were reported from Ahmedabad district followed by Vadodara (2,362) and Surat (1,986), among others, he said. In his reply, Patel also listed various steps taken by the government to improve facilities in the newborn care units.
These measures included giving priority to appointment of pediatricians and medical officers, special training for doctors and nursing staff and maintaining adequate stock of equipment and other essential items at these units.