Palakkad | Taking a serious view of child deaths and malnutrition reported from tribal settlements in Attappady here, Kerala Government today announced a Rs two crore emergency medical package for tackling the problem. This was decided by a Ministerial subcommittee which visited the area where 17 infants have died since January this year due to health problems caused by malnutrition.
The Ministerial committee, comprising Health Minister V S Sivakumar, Social Justice Minister M K Muneer and SCST Welfare Minister P K Jayalakshmi, held discussions with elected representatives and health officials. The amount would be released from the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) fund, Sivakumar told reporters at Agali after attending the review meeting.
The Minister said various issues related to Attappady, including free distribution of ration, financial aid for the families of recently died infants and the coordination of various packages would be considered by the next cabinet meeting. The government would also consider the setting up of a people’s coordination committee to ensure transparency and accountability in implementation of various projects in Attappady, one of the largest tribal settlements in the state. Other decisions include resuming nonfunctioning community kitchens for supply of nutritional food to the tribal families by December 5.
The management of kitchens would be entrusted with woman neighbourhood network Kudumbashree. Meanwhile, Lok Sabha member M B Rajesh of the CPI(M) launched an indefinite fast at Agali protesting lapses on the part of the government in tackling the issue. The government last week entrusted an expert panel of doctors of Thrissur Medical College to study the recent death of the two tribal children who died following the abnormal development of brain.