Move to check rising cardiac casualty rate on trekking path

Minister for Health and Devaswom V.S. Sivakumar on Monday launched an emergency healthcare scheme at Sabarimala to check the rising cardiac casualty rate on the traditional trekking path leading to the holy hillock.

The new healthcare scheme is a joint venture of Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited (KMSCL), National Rural Health Mission, and Kerala Emergency Medical Services Project (KEMP) ‘Dial 108 in Emergency’ service, the Minister said.

No formal inauguration

Talking to presspersons at Sabarimala, Mr. Sivakumar said a formal inaugural function was avoided in the wake of the demise of Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma, head of the royal family of erstwhile Travancore.

As many as 23 cardiac casualties had been witnessed at Sabarimala in the past 29 days, and the emergency healthcare scheme would be of great help to the pilgrims ascending the steep Neelimala and Appachimedu hills and on Swami Ayyappan Road, he said.

Mr. Sivakumar said mobile medical units (‘Jumpkit’ volunteers) carrying emergency medicines, portable oxygen cylinder, glucometer, and an automatic electronic defibrillator (AED) had been deployed at various points on the Pampa-Neelimala-Appachimedu-Marakkootom stretch, and on Swami Ayyappan Road.

‘Jumpkit’ volunteers

R. Kamalahar, KMSCL managing director, told The Hindu that the KEMP Dial 108 in Emergency Service had deployed 25 ‘Jumpkit’ volunteers on the Sabarimala trekking path to provide emergency healthcare in the least possible time.

He said a healthcare centre had been opened at Charalmedu on Swami Ayyappan Road for the pilgrims. He said the Jumpkit volunteers had been provided with mobile phones so that they could consult the doctor posted at Charalmedu, and provide first aid to the pilgrims on the spot.

The Minister said KEMP had deployed two ambulances with advanced life support mechanisms, one at Pampa and the other at Elavaumkal, from Monday.

Panel meet

Mr. Sivakumar said the high-power committee for implementation of the Sabarimala master plan would meet in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday to prioritise various development projects to be implemented at Sabarimala immediately after the culmination of the ongoing pilgrimage.

He said the proposed projects included a Rs.25-crore sewage treatment plant at Sabarimala Sannidhanam.

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