Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Erica.virtue@glean­

re­as­sign­ment of then min­is­ter of health, Dr Fen­ton Fer­gu­son, in what be­came known as ‘the dead ba­bies scan­dal’.

This time around, Health Min­is­ter Dr Christo­pher Tufton said he was not aware of the ba­bies’ deaths when he was first con­tacted by The Sun­day Gleaner, but promised to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

Tufton later asked health of­fi­cials to make them­selves avail­able to speak to the is­sue, as he praised the staff at VJH “for the proac­tive ac­tion they took to ar­rest the sit­u­a­tion im­me­di­ately. That is some­thing for which I give high com­men­da­tions to the staff.”

Ja­maica’s rate of in­fant mor­tal­ity – deaths of chil­dren be­fore they reach the age of one – has fallen steadily since the 1990s. In 2010, the mor­tal­ity rate was 17 deaths per 1,000 live births. Last year, ac­cord­ing to World Bank fig­ures, the rate fell to 14 deaths per 1,000 live births. That com­pares with six per 1,000 live births in the United States, and four per 1,000 births in Bri­tain.

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