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HC warns Maharashtra health secretary of strict action if more tribal children die of malnutrition


The Bombay High Court on Monday took the Maharashtra government to task for the deaths of at least 73 children due to malnutrition in the state’s tribal belt of Melghat in Amravati district, reported Live Law. The division bench added that it will hold the state health secretary responsible if there are any more deaths.

“We are putting the health secretary on guard and notice,” said the court while hearing petitions seeking better healthcare facilities in the Melghat region. “If we come across that by the next hearing more deaths have taken place, we will take stern action.”

One of the petitions said 73 children, under six years of age, died due to malnutrition in Melghat in the last four months till July. From April 1, 2020, to July 31 this year, 330 toddlers died in the region and 168 stillbirths were recorded, the petitioner told the court.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni was hearing a clutch of petitions seeking health specialists, proper nutrition and facilities for children and expectant mothers in the Melghat region. The petitioners included Dr Rajendra Burma and activist Bandu Sampatrao Sane.

The court directed that gynaecologists, pediatricians and radiologists from civil hospitals should be sent to these tribal areas across the…

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