The main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed concerns over an alleged spike in the infant mortality rate in the country especially over the last four months at state-run health institutions.
Speaking on the issue at a press conference held by Congress at its party head office on H.A. Blaize Street, former Education Minister Senator Franka Bernardine told reporters that too many people are dying in the country, who should still be alive.
The NDC Public Relations Officer charged that nothing is being done by the near two year old government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell to keep abreast of the issue and to see how best it can be reversed.
According to Bernardine who is serving as one of three opposition Senators in the Upper House of Parliament, six infants ended up at the Otway/Bailey Funeral Home over the December/January period.
“They were 18 in the months between September and October – have there been any inquiries, what (about) the concerns (of) children coming into the hospital with Malnutrition”, she retorted.
Sen. Bernardine claimed that tests for AIDS and Hepatitis are not available at government institutions and that persons have to get them done privately.
She said that in cases where tests are not done, the nurses are not allowing mothers to breast feed these infants.
“…So they’re being fed of tinned milks which is being stretched of course because we cannot afford, you know the economic circumstances and as a result when they leave (the hospital) even with a tin, the whole impact of this water down effect, not being able to use the breast milk and so on is resulting apparently in children coming in showing symptoms of malnutrition,” she told reporters.
There has been no official response from the newly appointed Minister of Health, Nickolas Steele to the allegation made by the NDC executive member.
Sen. Bernardine wants to see more long, medium and even short term health planning put in place in Grenada to deal especially with those issues.
She said it is time for the country to stop putting merely “plasters” on these health sores that surface since “people are crying out in a profound way” for better health care.
In its campaign to secure a clean 15-0 sweep of the polls in February 2013, the Mitchell-led NNP promised to deliver “a high standard of quality health care in Carriacou and Petite Martinique” and also committed itself to “a radical re-organisation of the health care