LARKANA - At least five infants died on Saturday in the children’s ward of Chanka Medical College Hospital, Larkana due to lack of oxygen supply.

Four infants were said to be new-born babies whereas one was said to be two-year-old.

Chanka Hospital medical superintendent told the media persons that a budget had been allotted to the hospital by the provincial government but the bill had not been officially passed. As such, the hospital had run out of oxygen which resulted in infant deaths.

Last month, a number of infant deaths were reported in Sargodha’s District Headquarters Teaching Hospital because of insufficient medical facilities, lack of oxygen supplies, incubators and alleged negligence of doctors. The Supreme Court had taken suo motu notice of the infant deaths.

This year’s federal budget had allocated Rs26.8 billion to the health sector. The allocation is slightly more than last year’s Rs25 billion. However, health is a provincial subject and the provincial governments are responsible to provide necessary medicines and other facilities to the hospital.  

Health workers say unfortunately the provincial government is paying least attention to the situation in hospitals particularly in provision of oxygen, life-saving drugs and other important equipment. Only salaries are released for the staff on time and other part of the budget is delayed for months due to shortage of funds.

The Sindh government had allocated Rs43.58 billion to health which represented an increase of 20 per cent over the last year’s budget.