A new complex, with eight floors and 300 beds, for the Institute of Child Health and Hospital for Children, Egmore, would be constructed in 17 months, said Minister for Health and Family Welfare M.R.K. Panneerselvam.

He was speaking at the inauguration of a nodal training centre for Ponseti Method of clubfoot management and eradication in the Hospital here on Friday. The Centre has been established in association with CURE International India and Lions Club of Madras T. Nagar, Lions District 324 A-1, Chennai.

Life-saving equipment worth around Rs. 4 crore was also inaugurated by the Minister. The government had sanctioned Rs. 2.3 crore and the rest Rs. 1.7 crore came from the constituency development fund of Minister for Information Parithi Ellamvazhuthi.

Talking about clubfoot, a congenital disorder that affects one among 1,000 children, Mr. Panneerselvam said that if proper treatment was provided to the new born within ten days, the child could walk normally. If treatment was provided within the first two years, recovery was possible. People had to be aware that a treatment was available for this condition, he said.

Clubfoot is a foot disorder apparent at birth. The affected foot is smaller, deformed, and weaker than the other foot. The sole faces inward with the inner border of the foot facing upwards with a lifted heel. This leads to severe disability unless corrected early.

In this training centre, doctors from all over Tamil Nadu could be trained in the Ponseti Method of treating clubfoot, which had become popular in the last five years, said Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj. As Tamil Nadu had a high rate of institutional deliveries (around 99.5 per cent), it was helpful in detecting such conditions at birth and providing treatment appropriately, he said.

Talking about other government schemes, Mr. Panneerselvam said that within a month of launching, Rs. 2.75 crore had been distributed under the Chief Minister’s Insurance Scheme for Life Saving Treatments.

Commenting on the 14 breast cancer surgeries performed within three-and-a-half hours at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai, Mr. Panneerselvam said no permission would be given from the State government to apply for a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Mr. Subburaj said that the surgeries were performed to demonstrate the capability of the hospital rather than for a place in the Guinness Book.