MHRC issues notice to Meghalaya govt on deaths of infants and pregnant women

SHILLONG, Oct 20: The Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (MHRC), has issued notice to the government on the deaths of 877 infants and 61 pregnant women during the month of April to July.

It may be mentioned that recently women and child rights activist Agnes Kharshiing filed a petition before the MHRC regarding the deaths of infants and pregnant women.

 The MHRC has asked the government to submit a detailed report on the matter and should be submitted within 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice.

Kharshiing in her petition had stated that the death of the 877 new born infants and 61 pregnant women as clarified by the Director of Health Service (MI), Dr. Aman War was due to lack of medical attention care, pneumonia and asphyxia and the death of most of the pregnant women was that they were not admitted in the hospital or health care centre for institutional delivery.

In her petitioner, Kharshiing further stated that the state has 12 big hospitals, including private ones, 30 community health centres, 110 primary health centres and also government run Civil Hospitals in each of the 11 district headquarters and the state suffer from paucity of ambulances with only 72 of them serving the entire state.

She said that health is integral to the right to life and the government has constitutional obligation to provide health facilities which in this case the fundamental rights under Article 21 is being violated.

The MHRC said that on perusal of the papers on record, the Commission is deeply concerned with the matter which raises serious issues of violation of human rights as Article 21 of the Constitution mandates for protection of life and personal liberty to every citizen and right to life and health is fundamental rights and it is the paramount duty of the state to protect and safeguard such rights of any individual.