The Deputy District Medical Officer and Nodal officer of Health Services in Attappady Dr. Prabhudas has said that “not a single pregnant tribal woman out of the 3,000 cases of delivery attended by me during my last 15 years of service in Attappady hospitals was found to be alcoholic.”

When asked about the reported statement of the Rural Development Minister K.C. Joseph that ‘alcoholism among pregnant tribal women in Attappady led to recent infant deaths,’ Dr. Prabhudhas told The Hindu over phone from Agali on Wednesday that “during the examination and recording of their health status what I found was that all the 3,000 tribal women examined by me were anaemic. But not even one pregnant woman was found alcoholic. A couple of them were found chewing pan. These were recorded in their case sheets,” he said.

Dr. Prabudas said that “some of their men were addicted to liquor.”

When asked about the recent incidents of infant deaths allegedly caused due to the alcoholism of the pregnant mothers Dr. Prabhudas said that “I examined 23 cases in which the infants died this year. But in no case I found the mothers to be alcoholic,” he said. Dr. Prabhudas said that more medical facilities are being added to the hospitals in Attappady.

On Thursday the operation theatre in Kottathara Government Tribal Specialty Hospital will be inaugurated by Director of Health Services Jamila Balan.