Audio messages, women guards in Mumbai hospitals to avert baby thefts

"On the lines of Railway announcements, we intend to play audio messages in hospitals alerting people to be beware of suspicious persons in the premises and urging them to report the same to hospital staff or authorities. Apart from this, we plan to put up pictorial alerts displaying Dos and Dont's on the issue," Medical Director (Civic Hospitals), Dr Sanjay Oak told PTI.

Besides, all counters relating to paperwork of the mother and new-born child would be set up near the OPD itself on a single floor, to avoid such thefts, he said.A two-month-old boy identified as Ayush Mishra was abducted from the V N Desai Hospital in suburban Santacruz on Friday, where his mother had brought him for a routine polio dose. Ayush was amongst a pair of twins born to Vakola residents Pooja and Avdesh Mishra.

Also, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will deploy women guards in all civic-run hospitals here soon.The Standing Committee of the BMC last week gave its nod for deploying 200 women guards at major civic and peripheral hospitals in the city, Additional Municipal Commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar said.

Less than two years after a poor couple's son was abducted from the civic-run Sion Hospital, the Bombay High Court had framed several guidelines, which were to be implemented in civic-run, semi-government and government hospitals across the state.

One of the suggested measures was to install CCTV cameras and computerised biometrics system to record footprints, fingerprints and birthmarks, if any, within two hours of a child's birth or admission.

The other suggestions included authorised female visitor must be given a valid hospital pass to be allowed into the maternity ward and installing VCD or LCD screens and other systems to inform patients and visitors about such incidents.

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