A health survey undertaken by a team of doctors headed by paediatric surgeon E.K. Sathyan of Indira Gandhi Co-operative Medical College, Kochi, found that all the 132 tribal children up to the age of six years who were screened at the camp were malnourished.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Dr. Sathyan and Dr. Sethu of Prakrithi Jeevana Samithi said tribal children and their mothers from 40 tribal hamlets in Attappady were examined at the camp conducted on May 19 and 20.

All the children were found to be underweight. Four per cent of the children were affected by sickle cell anaemia, a genetic disorder, and one per cent among them were found to be mentally challenged.”

He said “99 per cent of the children screened were much below the average weight during birth. This is because of anaemia and poor health conditions of mothers during delivery.”

He said 60 per cent of the deliveries were pre-mature leading to the death of infants.

He said malnourished children with severe problems should be admitted to the Nutrition Rehabilitation Centre being started at

Agali. The mothers should be given special treatment and care to improve their health.

Dr. Sathyan said pregnant women should be provided medical care and nutritious food from the very beginning of their pregnancy.

The Health survey was organised by ‘Thambu’, a voluntary organisation working among the tribal people of Attappady.

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