“The children who died were brought to the hospital in a very critical condition. The doctors did their best,” said Nilanjana Sen, the hospital super.
“The extension work of the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) is on and when it is completed children will get better treatment, the mortality rate will also come down,” she added.
Locals and relatives of the dead children, however, blamed the deaths on the poor infrastructure and lack of doctors at the Special Newborn Care Unit.
A senior doctor with the hospital, who did not want to be named, admitted there was a shortage of doctors in the paediatric unit.
UPDATE, JUNE 10, 2013
Thirteen infants have died at the Purulia Sadar Deben Mahato Hospital in Purulia since last Friday, the hospital said on Monday.
Most of the infants were in the age group of 0-11 months, hospital superintendent Nilanjana Sen said. While eight deaths were reported on Friday, three infants died on Saturday and two deaths were reported on Sunday, she added.
The infants, who were brought to the Sadar hospital from the block-level hospitals, were suffering from complications such as low birth weight, malnutrition, dehydration and meningitis, the superintendent said.
Citing the difficulties of the Sadar hospital in treating such patients, Sen said the neo-natal unit has only ten beds, which needs to be increased.
On an average, 15-20 infants in serious condition are referred to the Sadar hospital from the block-level hospitals daily, she said.