Two babies die on Tuesday; number of deaths touches 27

Three more tribal children died from malnutrition in the Attappady hills, taking the number of such deaths to 27 in the past 15 months.

The baby of Meenakshi and Nagan of Edavani, a Kurumba tribal hamlet in the Pudur grama panchayat limits, died soon after birth in the Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara on Tuesday evening. It was a premature birth at seven months of pregnancy. The child was underweight and malnourished, doctors in the hospital said.

A health official said the mother had been brought to hospital twice earlier, but doctors refused to admit her. The Kottathara hospital got a gynaecologist only on Tuesday.

In another case, Meenakshi, 11-month-old daughter of Meena and Rajendran of Aralikoonam of Bhoothayar hamlet in the Pudur grama panchayat limits, died in a private hospital in Coimbatore on Monday. The body was brought to Aralikoonam and buried on Tuesday, reports said.

In another case newly reported from Aralikoonam, the 45-day-old daughter of Mankikhandan and Saraswathy died of malnutrition in the hamlet in the last week of December.  This case was not reported earlier, said activists of Thambu, a social organisation working among tribal people. A health survey in Attappady identified 500 cases of malnutrition till Tuesday. M. Beena, State Director of National Rural Health Mission, visited the hospitals in Attappady and held a meeting with doctors and health staff of various hospitals in Agali on Tuesday.

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