Attappadi, one of the largest and most backward tribal hamlets in Kerala, will soon have an exclusive intensive care unit (ICU) for children as part of the state government’s efforts to ensure better healthcare facilities for marginalised children.
Health Minister Veena George gave directions to make the children’s ICU ready at Kottathara Tribal Speciality Hospital here by September 15 and administrative sanction had already been given to allot Rs 7 crore for the overall development of the hospital, official sources said.
The minister, during a joint meeting of the Departments of Health and Women and Child Development on Sunday, also gave directions to speed up the steps in this regard and elevate the local hospital to an advanced women and child care health facility, a statement said here.
George’s directions came in the wake of continuing infant mortality reported among the tribal children in Attappadi due to various health issues and demands for more advanced health facilities in the region.
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The minister directed the District Medical Officer of Palakkad to conduct an investigation into the complaint that patients are being unnecessarily referred from the Kottathara hospital, it said.
Anganwadi workers, Kudumbashree activists, tribal promoters and health workers should intensify field-level activities, she said, adding that special care should be paid in the case of pregnant women and children in the hamlets.
The possibility to incorporate the ethnic delicacies in the nutrition plan of tribal people would also be explored.
The objective of the initiative is to get the tribal community to get all the benefits of the government scheme completely, she added.
One of the latest instances of a child death reported in Attappadi was that of a newborn baby in Sholayur soon after his birth on August 7, sources said.