There has been constant news about infant deaths for quite a while. Again in a gruesome incident, seven newborn babies have died in the past 10 hours under "mysterious circumstances" at the Malda Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.
Though the parents of the victims alleged "negligence" on the part of the medical college for the deaths, an expert committee has reportedly ascertained "malnutrition" and "low weight" as the main factors.
‘Parents of the deceased claimed negligence of hospital staff as the reason for death. However, an expert committee has ascertained malnutrition and low birth weight as the reasons.’
Sintu Mandal from the Gajole block of Malda District, and the father of an infant who had died at the hospital, said, "I had admitted my child to the hospital after he started spewing blood from his mouth, but he did not receive proper treatment. When I told doctors about his condition, they said they were administering treatment to him and could not do much if he was not responding to treatment."
Mandal charged the doctors with "dereliction" of duty. Reacting to the situation, Amit Dhaw, Medical Superintendent and Vice Principal (MSVP) of the medical college, said, "A child could have died in the hospital, and if such a thing has happened, we will conduct a proper inquiry."
West Bengal Minister-in-Charge for Food Processing and Horticulture Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury, MLA from English Bazar, under which the medical college falls, said he knew of two deaths, but was not aware of seven deaths. He added that after he returned from Kolkata, he would investigate the matter.
District Magistrate (DM) Sarad Devidi, meanwhile, has refuted the allegations that there was a lack of infrastructure, but said he would look into the matter.
However, when asked about the registration of a case in this connection, Superintendent of Police Prasun Banerjee said he "did not have any idea" about the deaths.
Nearly 30 more children, including from various blocks of Malda district and neighbouring Bihar and Jharkhand, are admitted to the hospital, and their condition is stated to be serious.