Murshidabad/Kolkata, July 11, 201126 children die in 3 days WB: 24 children die in 3 days Infant deaths: Mamata orders probe As many as 24 infants were reported dead within 72 hours till Sunday in two government hospitals in Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
Earlier, 18 newly born babies had died within 48 hours in Kolkata's BC Roy Hospital for Children late last month. After Kolkata, death of infants in Murshidabad has put the West Bengal government in a spot.
While 13 children died in the paediatric section at Berhampur Sadar Hospital, 11 others died at Jangipur Mahakama Hospital. The hospital authorities denied any negligence and cited malnutrition and pneumonia as the cause of deaths.
West Bengal's Minister of State for PWD Subrata Saha said, "Low blood levels, infection and malnutrition seem to be the reasons for the deaths. I have instructed them to form a taskforce to combat the situation."
Surprisingly, some of the parents also did not blame the hospital authorities for the infants' death.
Chandranath Mondal, father of one of the dead babies, said, "I admitted my child in the evening and he died at night. I will not blame the doctors because they did not get enough time to treat him."
These hospitals were also hit by abysmal hygiene standards and bare minimum medical facilities. However the health department authorities had an excuse for that.
Murshidabad CMO Dr S. Siraj said, "We are building up the infrastructure. It should come up in a month or two had this been with us. Had more doctors been there, had the right equipment been there, it could have been done much better."
A team of paediatricians has been formed to take care of such cases in future, Siraj said.
Ironically, a probe panel set up by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee earlier, had given a clean chit to the BC Roy Hospital authorities in the infants' death episode. However the latest series of deaths might prompt the state government to take a re-look at the healthcare facilities in West Bengal.