Crib deaths in Malda, 19 babies die since Saturday

Nineteen babies have died in Malda Medical College Hospital since Saturday, hospital authorities said today.

Of the 19 babies, six have died since yesterday, they said, adding Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare A H Khan Chowdhury is monitoring the situation.

The authorities said the infants were brought in a critical condition from the adjoining North and South Dinajpur districts and all of them were suffering from malnutrition.

"The infants were all underweight and born prematurely," an official said.

Besides, there was overcrowding at the paediatric ward which has a capacity of 46 beds but 156 infants and children had been admitted.

"The infants and children have their parents with them. So there are about 600 people always present in the paediatric ward and infection cannot be totally checked," the official said.

Chief Medical Officer (Health) Bidhan Misra visited the hospital and oversaw the situation at the Sick New born Care Unit.

The hospital saw nearly 27 crib deaths at the beginning of the year too.

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