Cardinal Cleemis: Church mourns for children who died in Uttar Pradesh hospital

The toll climbs to 79 victims. The tragedy caused by lack of oxygen in neonatal pediatric and neurology wards . Gorakhpur hospital had failed to pay debt with the supplying company. Political repercussions on newly elected chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

Aug 14, 2017

By Nirmala Carvalho
"The Church in India mourns for the loss of innocent lives, that of our children [died] in the tragedy of the Gorakhpur Hospital." With these words Card. Baselios Cleemis, president of the Indian Bishops' Conference (Cbci), expresses the condolences of the entire Indian Catholic community to the families affected by this "immense loss that afflicts the whole nation."

The cardinal was commenting on the deaths of dozens of children and infants in one of the largest hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, because of the lack of oxygen supplies. According to some local newspapers, the death toll has risen to 79. The president of the bishops conference reaffirms that "the loss of valuable lives is a problem for the entire country. The government should have provided adequate care, and now it must take the right actions. "

The tragedy occurred in recent days in neonatal and neurological pediatric wards. According to investigators, the liquid oxygen supplier discontinued distribution due to unpaid debts. The executives of the company justified their actions by claiming to have repeatedly warned the hospital administration, but it was not able to settle the debt.

From a political point of view, the death of children is a heavy cloud over the new government of Yogi Adityanath, the chief state minister, elected only a few months ago [and whose resignation opposition members are demanding]. The politician visited the relatives of the victims, accompanied by the Minister of Health, and assured them he will open an investigation.

The death of children shines a spotlight on the serious shortcomings of India's public health system. Local experts argue that the revolving door of governments has done nothing but worsen the difficulties in staffing and supply. "At this moment of great pain - concludes Card. Cleemis - The Church offers its support to the families of the victims. Let us pray that the Lord will give them His consolation. "--Asia News

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