The Health Department has sent a report to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Monday on the steps taken for introducing a mother- and child-tracking system on its suggestion to track pregnant women and infants to help arrest the continuing death of tribal infants in Attappady.
At the Agali Community Health Centre, a special cell for monitoring of infants and expectant mothers daily was set up, the report said.
T.K.A. Nair, Adviser to the Prime Minister, after his visit to Attappady recently, wrote to Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan on the measures to be taken to prevent the recurring tragedy.
One of the main suggestions was for tracking pregnant women and children below 12 months of age. As many as 53 infants had died in Attappady during the past 17 months.
The report said 498 pregnant women in Attappady were due for delivery shortly and they were being tracked for special care. As many as 269 of them were tribal women and 163 were in the high-risk group.
Twenty-five per cent of the pregnant tribal women were found to be anaemic. Those in the high-risk category were given special medical care and food supplements, Prabhudas, Deputy District Medical Officer and Nodal Officer of the Health Department in Attappady, said in the report.
He said two health officials had been entrusted with the care of every pregnant woman. They would monitor their health and provide medical and other help.
The women would be admitted to hospital well in advance of the expected delivery date, Dr. Prabhudas said.
The report said 32 infant deaths took place out of 1,144 deliveries in a year from March 2012. Twenty were neonatal deaths and 12 infant deaths.
The primary health centre at Anakatty recorded 176 delivery cases, two neonatal deaths and one infant death.
In the Sholayur centre, these were 190, eight and four, respectively, and in Pudur, 193, five and three.
In the Agali Community Health Centre, out of the 210 delivery cases, three neonatal and two infant deaths were reported.