Infant deaths return

Experts are of the opinion that during winter there is a general tendency of increase in crib deaths as babies who are malnourished suffer from more breathing trouble in winter.

Dr Asit Biswas, spokesperson of Health Department, said a meeting has been convened with the CMO, who is monitoring the situation".

Significantly, the Trinamool Congress election manifesto had promised a four-tier healthcare infrastructure by revamping primary health centres, district hospitals, sub-divisional hospital and super specialty apex hospitals. But it was seen that 109 babies died in 2011 at Malda Medical College and Hospital, and 48 died in B C Roy in the month of December 2011 with the state government doing nothing exceot creating a task force.

Union Minister offers to send team

New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury has written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressing concern about the crib deaths at Malda hospital and offered to send a team of experts to the state to find out why so many babies have died in various hospitals in the state over the last few months. Sources in the ministry said that given the strained relations between the Congress and its former ally, the Trinamool, Chowdhury's letter has been delicately worded so as not to make the issue a political ego battle that could only serve to complicate matters. He is said to be monitoring the matter personally.

"There is a hospital in Farakka that is managed by the Water Resources Department. It is in a ramshackle state. I am trying to see whether the health ministry can take it over so as to help the locals. It is about 80 Km from Murshidabad and 50 Km from Malda so if that can be made functional, it would go a long way in making quality healthcare accessible to the locals," Chowdhury said.

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