In view of a large number of children being hospitalized with symptoms of viral infection, the state health & family welfare department has focused on infrastructure preparedness at 77 hospitals at three different levels, especially to cater to the critically ill patients in the state.
A total of 1374 beds have been arranged or in 20 such health facilities in eight north Bengal districts, officials said. The flow of children being admitted in hospitals with fever and respiratory distress in some north Bengal districts is still steady.
The department has arranged for 3816 paediatric beds, 2438 sick newborn care unit (SNCU) beds, 164 beds in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) and 229 beds in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) in the 77 three-tier health facilities–sub divisional hospital, district hospital and medical college and hospital-across the state, it is learnt.
According to health department officials, those hospitals had made adequate treatment arrangements for paediatric patients. “The hospitals have added beds for children in view of the sudden surge in the cases,” an official said. Due to a shortage of beds, many infants were kept on the floors of paediatric wards in some hospitals, while in many cases two children shared a single bed.
Hospitals in north Bengal hospitals have now arranged for 903 paediatric beds and 471 SNCU beds, while the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) has added 12 NICU and 12 PICU beds, the Jalpaiguri district hospital has 10 PICU beds, and Malda Medical College and Hospital 10 NICU and 12 PICU beds.
The paediatric bed strength in the Alipurduar District Hospital is 40, while there are 30 beds in the SNCU, and the Birpara State General Hospital has 38 and 20, respectively. Cooch Behar Medical College and Hospital has 24 paediatric beds, 28 SNCU beds, 44 paediatric beds, while there are 20 SNCU beds in the Dinhata Sub Divisional Hospital. Mathabhanga Sub-Divisional Hospital has 24 paediatric and 20 SNCU beds, Mekhliganj Sub Divisional Hospital has 12 paediatric beds, Tufanganj Sub Divisional Hospital has 20 beds each in the paediatric and SNCU units.
In South Dinajpur district, the Balurghat District Hospital has 60 paediatric and 22 SNCU beds, Gangarampur Sub Divisional Hospital has 68 paediatric and 30 SNCU beds, while there are 24 paediatric beds and 13 SNCU beds in the Darjeeling District Hospital.
Siliguri District Hospital has 60 paediatric and 26 SNCU beds, Kurseong Sub Divisional Hospital has 14 paediatric beds, while the NBMCH has created 60 paediatric and 31 SNCU beds. Kalimpong District Hospital has 50 paediatric
Jalpaiguri District Hospital has arranged for 50 paediatric and 26 SNCU beds, and Mal Sub Divisional Hospital has 63 paediatric and 28 SNCU beds. In Malda district, the Chanchal Sub Divisional Hospital has 60 paediatric and 20 SNCU beds, and the Malda Medical College and Hospital has 120 paediatric and 90 SNCU beds.
For North Dinajpur district, the Islampur Sub Divisional Hospital has 30 paediatric and 27 SNCU beds, and the Raiganj Government Medical College and Hospital have 42 paediatric and 20 SNCU beds.
Meanwhile, the state health department has sanctioned 435 new PICUs across the state to combat a probable surge in Covid-19 cases. Around 15-20 children are admitted in the paediatric ward in the NBMCH on an average daily, while 54 were admitted till 12 pm today, sources said. The bed capacity is 115, while the 30 Covid beds which have so far remained vacant, will also be utilised if the number of children goes up.
Darjeeling District Magistrate S Ponnambalam, who held a review meeting over the situation at the NBMCH with Principal Prof Indrajit Saha, Superintendent Dr Sanjay Mallik, doctors of the paediatriac and medicine wards today, said the discharge rate was also satisfactory