KANNUR: The newborns are having a hard time at the E.K. Nayanar Memorial Government Hospital for Women and Children, Parassinikkadavu, near here. Those having jaundice are crowded into one phototherapy unit for treatment as three other units are non-functional. Though only one kid is supposed to be kept in the unit for a day, the staff place three of them together, it is alleged. The parents fear that this would give rise to more infections for the kids. However, the hospital says that it is safe to keep three to four babies at a time in one unit and that it would not affect their health.
A new mother, who had to place her one-week-old daughter at the phototherapy unit for treating jaundice, said that she had to fight with the staff to keep her baby in it comfortably. The parents also fear that the life of the newborns will be at risk from the hygiene point of view also. "I am disappointed by the attitude of the staff there. There were four machines in the hospital but only one is functioning. I was asked to place my baby along with two others already in it. The babies lie there for more than a day and who will be responsible if they contract more diseases?" asked a mother who did not wish to identified.
Hospital superintendent Dr Jeevan Lal said that there was nothing unusual in keeping three to four babies in a single machine, though he refuted the statement of the mother. "It is unlikely that the hospital placed more than a baby at a time in the machine. It might have happened at a particular time and on a particular day. However, such machines can accommodate up to four babies at a time. If placed alone, they might not be able to bear the heat. The newborns are unlikely to contract diseases from others," said the superintendent.