CPM cooking up crib death stories: Mamata

CPM cooking up crib death stories: Mamata

Even as deaths of hundreds of infants are reported from state-run hospitals in West Bengal, the Mamata Banerjee government is yet to formulate a comprehensive health care system it promised during elections.

A woman takes her child to B C Roy Children’s Hospital in Kolkata on Monday. PTI

The Trinamool Congress election manifesto had promised a four-tier healthcare infrastructure by revamping primary health centres, district hospitals, sub-divisional hospital and super speciality apex hospitals. But 107 babies breathed their last at Malda Medical College and Hospital in January, while nine died in Murshidabad and 48 in B C Roy during December without the state government doing anything about those poll promises.

On the contrary, state MoS for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya added fuel to the fire by saying West Bengal had witnessed a 3 per cent drop in child mortality since the Mamata government had assumed office.  However, former health minister and now the leader of the opposition in state Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra told Deccan Herald that the survey she based her statement on was taken during the time of the Left Front government, while figures for the current period is expected later.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the CPM and the Congress of spreading false stories about child mortality.

“The CPM in some places and the Congress in Malda district are spreading false stories about crib deaths,” she said. “Everybody has to understand that there are many babies born in their homes in rural Bengal even during this decade. This is aggravating the problem, we have to raise awareness about it.  These babies are not dying because of lack of treatment because most of these babies were severely underweight. In last eight months the rate of crib deaths in the state have come down by 1 per cent,” she added.

Rejecting the underweight theory, Mishra said the number of infant deaths keeps increasing in Malda and the government is doing nothing.

 “The sick childcare model started by the Left Front government was lauded by Unicef, which recommended it as a model for the developing countries. It was also adopted by some states of our country,” Mishra said.

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