Montenegro Minister Urged to Quit Over Baby’s Death

18 Nov 14

Montenegro Minister Urged to Quit Over Baby’s Death

Protesters have called on the Health Minister to accept responsibility for an outbreak of infections in a maternity ward, which has claimed the life of one newborn baby.

Dusica Tomovic


Several dozen Montenegrins staged a protest on Monday in the capital, Podgorica, demanding the resignation of the Health Minister over the death of a baby, which they said highlighted the poor state of maternity wards in the country generally.

The protest was organized by the The Circle of Life, an NGO, and the women’s organizations of the opposition Movement for Change.

The row followed media revelations that the five babies had recently become infected with a deadly virus in a hospital in the town of Bijelo Polje, one of whom died on Sunday.

The father of one of the infected infants, Predrag Karisik, told the media on Monday that the doctors had confirmed that the babies had sepsis caused by an infection.

After the affair was reported on Sunday, the Minister of Health, Miodrag Radunovic, sacked the management of the maternity ward in Bijelo Polje. On Monday, the director of the hospital, Tomislav Jeremic, resigned, on “moral grounds”.

The state prosecution said it had opened an investigation to determine responsibility for the infections in the maternity ward.

Both the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, DPS, and several opposition parties demanded an urgent parliamentary hearing of Health Minister Radunovic, urging the authorithies to find those responsible for a development “that had such serious consequences”.

A UNICEF report on the state of the Montenegrin maternity wards, released in 2013, said the quality of care for mothers, newborns and children in Montenegro was often substandard, especially when it came to information, communication, confidentiality and holistic care for mothers and children.

Source: Balkan Insight (Montenegro)