Shocked by the recurrent infant deaths in the Malda Sadar Hospital in West Bengal,the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) Tuesday demanded the immediate improvement of infrastructure in hospitals in Malda district. The chairperson of NCPCR,the apex child rights body in India,Shantha Sinha said the infrastructure of hospitals in the district needed to be upgraded within a set time-frame. We need better medical equipment and the number of doctors should be increased. Revamping the hospital infrastructure is a must now, he said. Coming to the Malda Sadar Hospital,Sinha said the NCPCR wants up gradation and proper upkeep of the childrens ward,neonatal ward,maternity ward and the labour room,which were found improperly maintained during a recent visit by NCPCR to members. Sinha said the news of regular infant deaths in West Bengal state is shocking and alarming. In the latest spell of crib deaths,at least 27 children have died due to bronchopneumonia,septicaemia and premature low-birth weight in the state-run Malda Sadar Hospital. Hospital sources said the infants were born underweight and with respiratory problems. The deaths took place since Monday night. Unofficial sources,however,claimed that the toll stands at 38. Last year,over 40 infants had died at Kolkatas B C Roy Paediatric Institute,Burdwan Medical College and the Malda hospital.