City’s lone COVID Maternity Hospital delivers 278 healthy babies
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City’s lone COVID Maternity Hospital delivers 278 healthy babies

February 1, 2021

Smt. Lakshmidevamma Shankarashetty Maternity Hospital becomes non-COVID Hospital from today

Mysore/Mysuru: Notwithstanding the UNICEF warning that COVID-19 containment measures can disrupt life-saving health services such as childbirth care, putting pregnant mothers and their babies at great risk, Mysuru has beaten the trend and has seen the birth of 278 healthy babies at State-run Lakshmidevamma Shankarashetty Maternity Hospital in VV Puram (Jayalakshmipuram). 

Pregnant women are considered to be in the high-risk category and in case they tested positive, they were admitted to Lakshmidevamma Shankarashetty Hospital that was converted into an exclusive COVID Maternity Hospital. Notably all positive women who turned up at the Hospital delivered healthy babies and not a single death or ill health was reported. 

From today, Feb. 1, the Hospital will be converted into a normal maternity hospital like before. “In case a COVID-positive pregnant woman comes here for delivery, she will be sent to the District Hospital that is now a COVID Healthcare Facility. We have sanitised the Lakshmidevamma Shankarashetty Hospital and non-COVID positive women can get admitted here for deliveries,” District Health Officer (DHO) Dr. T. Amaranth told Star of Mysore. 

When the pandemic was at its peak in Mysuru in March 2020, the need was felt for an exclusive maternity hospital as the women could not be admitted to Cheluvamba Hospital due to risk factors. Also, many private hospitals were refusing to admit pregnant women as they did not want to take the risk. 

Lakshmidevamma Shankarashetty Hospital staff sanitising the wards.

Following this, the then Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar had directed the DHO to establish an exclusive maternity hospital. After the Lakshmidevamma Shankarashetty Hospital was converted as exclusive facility for COVID-positive pregnant women in April 2020, the first childbirth was reported on June 20, 2020.  The last delivery as COVID maternity hospital was reported on Jan. 7, 2021. The Hospital has 30 beds, three wards, three OPDs, labour room and an operation theatre. 

Hospital doctors and staff wore PPE kits and took other preventive measures during deliveries. The Hospital employees were extra cautious to ensure that no harm was caused to either mother or child. All measures were followed to ensure the babies do not contract any virus.

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It was quite challenging for Dr. G. Malathi, the Hospital’s Administrative Officer (AO) and Dr. Kempegowda, — who took over as AO from Dr. Malathi in December after she was transferred to District Hospital — to handle a crisis situation. But they administered the Hospital well and the results are there for everyone to see. 

Till now, 278 babies were delivered at the Hospital and of that 127 were normal deliveries and 151 Caesarean Section births. 147 were baby boys and 131 were baby girls. There are four doctors serving at the Hospital and over 26 healthcare employees of various ranks. 

A group photo of the Doctors and Staff of Lakshmidevamma Shankarashetty Maternity Hospital.

District Hospital next?

Meanwhile, DHO Dr. Amarnath said a decision on re-converting District Hospital on KRS Road as non-COVID Hospital will be taken during second week of February. In all probability, it would become non-COVID Hospital from March 1. 

However, as a precautionary measure, one block would be reserved in case of spike in Corona positive cases. In fact, the number of positive cases has dropped to just 211 in the district, he added.

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