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NHRC takes up crib death nightmare at Safdarjung.

THE National Human Rights Commission ( NHRC) has issued notice on a complaint alleging death of over 8,200 children under the age of five at the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi over the past five years.

The human rights panel has directed the Union health secretary and the medical superintendent of the hospital to respond to the allegations in the complaint within four weeks.

The authorities will probably have to do a lot of explaining as the commission has also issued notice on a complaint alleging illegal clinical drug trials have been conducted on 3,479 children in three government hospitals in Delhi during the last five years.

Incidentally, both the complaints have been filed by the same person and the figures are allegedly based on revelations made by authorities under the RTI. In his complaint with regard to death of children, R. H. Bansal alleged that of the over 8,200 children who died at the Safdarjung hospital, 3,000 were new- born babies.

He submitted in his complaint that five out of eighteen ventilators for children were non- functional. " The conditions were unhygienic and there was an acute shortage of essential services at the hospital," he said.

Bansal added that even women were dying during pregnancy in the hospital.

On the other complaint alleging illegal clinical trials, the NHRC had on Thursday directed the Union health secretary to respond within four weeks.

Bansal has alleged that illegal clinical trials were conducted on 2,056 children at Safdarjung Hospital, 1,023 children in Kalawati Saran Children's Hospital and 400 children at the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital.

He alleged that approval from parents was not taken before the trials, making them an illegal and punishable act.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 9, 2013
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