Questions are being raised about the quality of care Mathura’s State Orphanage after the death of an infant. Eight month old Bulbul died in hospital on Friday night, after undergoing emergency treatment for acute pneumonia. Bulbul had been in the orphanage since she was a newborn. Her mother was living on the railway tracks after being ostracized by her community.
Bulbul had been suffering with pneumonia for three months. Her condition was recognized as serious and treatment was undertaken at Agra hospital from 6th-11 November. Pediatrician Dr Aman said that Bulbul had a weak constitution, however, questions are being raised about whether Bulbul could have survived if given more care and attention.
UNICEF’s global report, One is too many: Ending Child Deaths from Pneumonia and Diarrhoea, states, “the fact that children continue to die from these diseases is a reflection of deep inequalities.” According to the report, the number of children in India who die of pneumonia and diarrhoea is unacceptably high and many of these deaths could have been prevented.
In march this year, another girl, named Savita, died due to a burn injury from boiling water. Savita’s death prompted an inspection. The inspecting officer, ACJM Kanchan, reprimanded the orphanage management for providing a poor standard of care. Orphanage staff complained to the investigating officer about the quality of food.
There are currently 44 children living in the orphanage, with 28 of them between 5 and 10 years of age. 14 of the children have been diagnosed with mental illness, and need specialist attention and care, however, the centre has only minimal facilities.