Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee on Saturday made an unscheduled visit to BC Roy Children`s
Hospital in the metropolis where 18 infants died in a span of
48 hours and said she will take up the issue of high infant
mortality rate in the state with the prime minister.
"40,000 infants die in our state every year. This is
shocking. We rank fourth in infant mortality after
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. I will take up the issue
with the Prime Minister and the Planning Commission," she
"Infant deaths in this hospital is 10 percent less this
year than what it was last year. The doctors and the staff
here are doing their best with the existing infrastructure,"
the chief minister said.
A government inquiry into the death of the babies on
Wednesday and Thursday had yesterday said there was no medical
negligence but the infrastructure was not up to the mark at
the eastern region`s largest paediatric referral hospital.
Many of the babies were referred to the hospital with
infection, Banerjee said.
"If a baby comes with congestion of the lungs or heart, it
is difficult to save them. I saw some children with birth
weight as low as 500 to 700 gram, when the minimum weight
should be more than 1,500 gram," she said.
Banerjee, who reached the hospital at around 1:30 pm,
stayed for about 40 minutes. She visited the wards and spoke
to doctors, nurses and guardians of the patients.