Newborn dies after birth in Kannur; doctor, nurse transferred for refusing treatment

Idukki woman gives birth at hostel, kills her newborn
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Panoor, Kannur: A newborn died soon after birth at Panoor in Kerala's Kannur district on Thursday after the healthcare personnel allegedly refused to provide emergency care to the child.

The baby belonged to Haneefa and Sameera, natives of Panoor. The doctor and nurse of the nearby community health centre have been transferred for refusing to provide treatment. Health Minister K K Shailaja also called for a probe into the incident.

Sameera, who was eight months pregnant, prematurely gave birth at her home by 7:30am on Thursday. As her health condition was weak, it was not possible to move her to the hospital.

Her husband Haneefa rushed to the nearby fireforce station for help.

Two personnel and Haneefa then went to the health centre, which was barely 300mt away from their house. The police too arrived at the health centre. However, the temporary doctor on duty at the centre refused to go to their house. And also, did not instruct the nurse to provide emergency care.

The relatives said that the doctor refused help, while claiming that it was not possible to go to the house for treatment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  Authorities too said that they were not in a position to leave the hospital unattended as there were no other healthcare personnel.

The fireforce personnel then sought help at a private hospital, and went to Sameera's house with a nurse. However, the baby had died by then. All this happened in just 10 minutes.

The gross negligence from the part of the government hospital happened during these crucial minutes. The incident led to widespread protests.

Sameera, who was bleeding, was taken to a private hospital in Thalassery.

Dr T Sruthi, who was on temporary duty under the National Health Mission project, and staff nurse Lasitha were transferred within hours after the incident, as per the directives of the Health Minister.

"Extremely saddened to hear about the newborn's death. A probe has been ordered and stringent action would be taken against the guilty," said the minister. Panoor is part of Minister Shailaja’s constituency.

Panoor medical officer has submitted a preliminary report to the district medical officer.

Several outfits held protests in front of the hospital.

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