2,476 deaths reported in six months from six districts

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader on Monday admitted in the Legislative Council that as many as 2,476 infant deaths were reported from the six districts of Hyderabad Karnataka region from April to September this year.

While Raichur recorded the highest number of 480, Yadgir registered the lowest with 261 infant deaths.

In Koppal, while 722 prenatal and 921 neonatal deaths were reported last year as many as 341 prenatal and 439 neonatal deaths were reported from April to September 2013.

The cause

Replying to Achar Halappa Basappa and Amarnath Patil of the Bharatiya Janata Party during Question Hour, Mr. Khader attributed infant deaths in the HK region, especially in Koppal, to absence of experts at district hospitals. While the sanctioned strength in Koppal district hospital was 82, only 48 were officially functioning.

Though, the government was prepared to pay a good salary to specialists, no one was coming forward. On learning about infant mortality rate in Koppal district, he had visited the district and directed the Deputy Commissioner to take necessary steps to address the problem.

Endosulfan package

The plight of victims of endosulfan in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada districts was echoed in the Upper House. Mr. Khader, in his reply to Ganesh Karnik of the BJP, said that a Rs. 20-crore package would be announced to find a solution to the life of victims.

It has been planned to increase the grant of Rs. 50 lakh given to two endosulfan day care centres functioning in affected areas to Rs. 1 crore. The government was considering the proposal of increasing monthly disability pension from Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000. It is also proposed to have an understanding with private hospitals to provide medical care to endosulfan victims. “Those capable of leading an independent lives would be taught skills at the rehabilitation centres at Kokkada and Koila,” he said.

The government had earmarked Rs. 5 crore for improving health of endosulfan victims in the three districts and Rs. 3.75 lakh was released to the Kasturba Medical College for conducting research on the impact of endosulfan.

BPL beneficiaries

Minister of State for Food and Civil Supplies Dinesh Gundu Rao said that 96.87 Below Poverty Line families were benefitting from the Anna Bhagya scheme. Over 32 lakh new applications for BPL cards was received and 14 lakh applications verified. “Verification of cards would be completed by January 2014,” he said.

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