IMA works out plan to address tribal health issue

Tuesday, Nov 25, 2014,20:32 IST By metro vaartha A A A

Thiruvananthapuram | Taking a serious view of increasing infant deaths and malnutrition reported in Attappady, one of the largest tribal settlements in Kerala, Indian Medical Association has drawn up a detailed action plan to find solution for various health issues there giving special focus on anti-natal care of tribal women. As part of the plan, steps will be taken to ensure weekly service of radiologists in hospitals and community health centres in the region and provide specialised training for health workers in anti-natal care, IMA members said.
A top IMA office-bearer said the action plan was drawn up based on a report submitted by a team of IMA members who recently visited tribal hamlets and hospitals in Attappady, located in northern district Palakkad. A team of IMA members recently visited hospitals and health centres at Attappady and studied the situation. We understood that besides malnutrition, the absence of proper anti-natal care is one of the major reasons for the death of infants in the region, IMA Kerala secretary A V Jayakrishnan said.
He said pregnant women are still treated in primitive ways in many hamlets and lack of proper care after delivery poses a serious threat for health of both infants and mothers. An awareness should be created among tribals about the significance of anti-natal care. Health workers in hospitals and community health centres should be given specialised training in it. We will take immediate steps for it. Besides this, we will also take up continuing education for doctors working in the region, he said.
To ensure the service of radiologist for conducting ultra sound scan, IMA is planning to collaborate with the Department of Radiology of Thrissur Medical College. We are also planning to approach the government seeking appointment of more gynaecologists in hospitals and community health centres in the region considering plight of tribal women, he said. The action plan is envisaged to be implemented in the next three months and IMA would announce a detailed health package for the region after that, he said.
As many as 17 tribal children including newborns died in different settlements of Attappady since last January due to various health issues including malnutrition. The state government had announced a Rs two crore emergency medical package for tackling the problem last month.

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