Kerala

Lack of infrastructure at tribal hospital near Thavalam in Attappady

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14 infant deaths since January

It was only last week, sixty five-year-old Nanjan from Rajiv Nagar tribal hamlet near Thavalam in Attappady was diagnosed with severe visual complications by an eye specialist and recommended for an ocular surgery.

But authorities at the Government Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara, near here, expressed their helplessness when Nanjan approached them for surgery as the hospital lacked the minimum facility for conducting the surgery.

Though the hospital lacked facilities for eye surgery, the government has made available the full time service of an eye surgeon long back. Now he remains helpless in the face of requests from visually challenged Adivasis.

“In the face of growing infant mortality deaths, the government has ensured services of 52 doctors and more than 500 nurses and other para medical staff for ensuring the well-being of tribals here. However, the lack of certain essential facilities are preventing us from discharging the duties in an effective way to protect tribal health,” points out R. Prabhudas, Deputy District Medical Officer in-charge of Attappady belt.

Oxygen supply

According to the hospital authorities, the major hindrance in conducting any kind of surgery at the hospital is the lack of a central oxygen supply facility.

Lack of a centralized power backup facility is also preventing the doctors from undertaking surgeries and other complicated health procedures. A number of essential operation theatre equipment are also not available.

“The establishment was visualized earlier as a 100-bed hospital exclusively for tribals. Now it has just 54 beds. The number of inpatients on Monday was 120. It is woefully short in the case of beds,” points out K Sukumaran of Attappady Samrakshana Samithy.

Many of the patients, including pregnant women, are sleeping on the floor.

In the labour ward, two women have been allocated a single cot.

Hospital staff say on occasions, even new born babies and their mothers would be forced to sleep on the floor for want of beds.

“Another block for the hospital with additional 46 beds can be constructed very easily. Then only the congestion would ease,” says Eswari Resan, district panchayat member of CPI.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 10:16:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/lack-of-infrastructure-at-tribal-hospital-near-thavalam-in-attappady/article6673358.ece

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