Minister accepts ‘negligence’ overinfant's death

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Monitoring DeskThe death of a child at the National Institute of Child Health (NICH) was a case of
"negligence" by the authorities, said Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho while speaking in TV
channel programme.She added that officials had informed her that "the incubator caught fire and the
child who was inside it, as a result burnt to death. "The event is very unfortunate and it is a case of
negligence by the authorities," the minister said, asking: "Who was on duty, how did the incubator catch
fire, did the plug catch fire?"If it [plug] did, they should have immediately plugged it out and the incident
could have been avoided," Pechuho noted. She also lamented that the incident had struck her and that
she was 'very sad' to hear about the child's demise."I feel sorry for the parents, I don’t know how will I
be able to face them?" she said.Sources had earlier said the cause of death was "electrocution and
asphyxiation". The fire had also damaged a fan and the incubator's wires. An inquiry committee, formed
by Sindh health department to probe the death, expressed serious concerns on Tuesday over the delay
by the facility's officials.In its initial report, the committee said the institute's executive director,
additional director, and other concerned officials had reached three hours after the incident.According
to the family's recorded statement, the incident took place at 1600 hours, while rescue operations were
initiated after two hours, at 1822 hours. Such conduct by the administration depicted
"unprofessionalism" and a "lack of administrative qualities", the report noted.Surprisingly, there was a
single gate for patients to enter and exit, whereas the incubators were placed at the entrance door.
There were no emergency exits.