Kolkata: Ridiculing West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s claim that infant mortality had come down by two per cent under her government, Leader of the Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra on Thursday said the deaths were lower during the erstwhile Left Front regime.
``She had said that the crib deaths have come down by
two per cent during the present regime. But she should know
that infant mortality is measured per thousand and not in
percentage,`` Mishra said at a press conference.
Stating that as per the Sample Registration Survey,
infant mortality in the state had come down, he said this
happened during the Left Front regime.
``The survey was done when the Left Front was in power.
So its report pertains to that time. The infant mortality rate
during the present regime will be known later,`` Mishra said.
Claiming that a `procession of infant deaths` was on in
Malda district, he said the Chief Minister`s explanation that
the infants who died were underweight was not `satisfactory.`
Pointing out that infants in the age group of 1 day to
28 days were most vulnerable, he said the Left Front
government had set up several Sick Newborn Care Units to take
care of such children.
``The sick childcare model started by the Left Front
government was lauded by the UNICEF which recommended it as a
model for the developing countries. It was also adopted by
some states of our country,`` Mishra said.
Accusing the present government of not maintaining the
neonatal care infrastructure set up by the Left Front
government, he said, ``the running units have almost become
defunct. They do not have the people to look after them.``