Paediatricians put life of new-born babies at risk in Sopore hospital


It is normal hospital procedure to screen every baby regardless of whether the parents ask for it or even if the baby appears healthy. Ironically the negligence of paediatricians at Sub-District Hospital (SDH) Sopore in the northern part of Kashmir’s Baramulla district is putting life of dozens of new-born babies at risk every day.

The paediatricians according to parents of newly born babies posted at SDH Sopore hardly bother to perform a screening test. A screening test generally includes a variety of blood tests, a hearing test and heart defect screenings as well.

“The blood test is generally performed when a baby is 24 to 48 hours old. This timing is important because certain conditions may go undetected if the blood sample is drawn before 24 hours of age. If the blood is drawn after 48 hours of age, there could be life-threatening,” said a senior paediatrician.

The father of a new born baby was forced to run from pillar to post after his infant developed some serious signs of Jaundice and Abdominal distension. “Neither doctors bother to go for the screen test of my baby nor they took care of him after he suffered from abdominal pain,” he said.

The distressed father said that on the instructions of Nursing Staff and other doctors, he was asked to approach a paediatrician Dr Suhail Naik but the said doctor was untraceable in the hospital for three consecutive days. “My baby was dying but not a single doctor was available in the hospital on August 15. Somehow we managed to find a paediatrician outside the hospital who prescribed the medicine. On Aug 17, again we visited SDH Sopore after the infant developed pain and this time as well no paediatrician was present in the hospital,” he said and added that the absence of doctors at the SDH forced them to rush their baby to District Hospital Baramulla.

“A lady Doctor Shafia at DH Baramulla after performing the check-up declared that baby has suffered from jaundice. We and our baby suffered because of the callous attitude of the paediatricians at SDH Sopore who did not conduct screen test of our baby,” the parents of the affected baby told CNS.

The parents alleged that most of the paediatricians at SDH Sopore remain busy at their private clinics. “They care a fig for the infants and remain absent from their duties,” they said.

When contacted, Block Medical Officer (BMO) Sopore, Dr Sami said he will take up the issue with Dr Suhail Naik.


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