Death reported on July 12

Radhamani and Selvan, the parents of the infant who died at Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode, on July 12, have alleged that their son died as he failed to get proper medical attention at Government Tribal Specialty Hospital, Kottathara, Attappady, at the time of his birth.

They were talking to mediapersons at the Oothukuzhy tribal hamlet in Sholayur grama panchayat, Attappady, on Wednesday.

Ms. Radhamani said she was taken to the hospital in a jeep late on July 1 after she started experiencing labour pain.

“When we reached the hospital, there was no doctor on duty. The nurse on duty delivered the baby,” Ms. Radhamani said.

“The doctor came only the next morning and examined my son, who had developed breathing trouble at birth. The doctor on duty referred the infant to the Kozhikode medical college hospital. I was kept at the Kottathara hospital and sent to the medical college only after three days,” she said.

The parents alleged that their son died in the intensive care unit of the medical college on July 9, but his body was released after a lot of requests only on July 12.

However, the medical college superintendent on Thursday denied the allegations of the parents and said that the infant died on July 12 and the body was released the same day.

Meanwhile, the parents said they had sent a complaint to the District Collector demanding an inquiry into the death of their son.

They also opposed the practice of referring the patients at critical junctures from Kottathara to the Kozhikode medical college, which was further away than the District Hospital at Palakkad and the Government Medical College Hospital at Thrissur where tribal promoters were available to take care of them.

“We feel the Kozhikode medical college is an alien place because there is no one to help us, unlike in the Palakkad District Hospital and the Thrissur medical college. The best thing is to refer such cases to the Coimbatore medical college which is only 40 km from Attappady,” they said.

In the past one month, four tribal infants have died at Attappady, and the toll in the past six months has gone up to 34.

Tribal organisations such as Thampu, Girijan Seva Samithy, and Attappady Samrakshana Samithy are up in arms against the authorities who, they allege, have miserably failed to provide medical facilities to the tribal people despite announcing special health packages for Attappady three months ago.

Radhamani and Selvan said there was no doctor on duty and the nurse delivered the baby at the Kottathara tribal hospital, Attappady.