Minister Veena George promises 'special intervention' to address Attappady's health woes

Veena George in Attappady
Health Minister Veena George interacts with tribespeople in Attappady. Photo: PRD

A collective of local women and children will be formed in Attappady to ensure the physical and mental well-being of the tribespeople there, said Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Saturday.

The collective named 'Pentrika Kootta' will be formed in connection with 175 anganwadis. It is meant to discuss and find a solution to the issues concerning women and children, the minister said.

The minister remarked after visiting Attappady, one of the biggest tribal settlements in the state, in the wake of the recent infant deaths in the region.

“The government's goal is to make the natives of Attappady a part of various projects through Anganwadis in the region. This would ensure that the projects reach the right beneficiaries,” George said.

The minister said a special intervention plan will be prepared to ensure the healthcare of the tribal population of the region in a long-term basis.

“The collective will have Anganwadi workers, helpers, ASHA workers and educated women as members. The collective would help to make responsible social interventions. Awareness programmes will be strengthened in the tribes' languages,” she said

The minister added that the complaints about the poor healthcare system for the Adivasis will be examined.

"A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) will be set up in the Government Tribal Hospital, Kottathara," said the minister, "the service of senior doctors will be ensured in gynaecology and pediatrics departments."

The minister also said that long-term projects will be implemented by the health department for special care for pregnant women in the high-risk category.

Reports citing health department figures recently revealed that 245 out of the 426 pregnant women in Attappady are on the high-risk list owing to a slew of health issues (

Steps will be taken to pay the salary due for temporary employees of the Kottathara hospital. Arrangements will be made to appoint more staff if needed, the minister said.

'Infant deaths drop in Attappady'
The minister has claimed that infant deaths in Attappady have come down from 45 in 2013-14 to 12 now as a result of various government projects.

The existing projects will be streamlined, said the minister who had visited Attappady while the problems plaguing the tribal belt have come to the fore once again.

A United Democratic Front delegation led by Leader of the Opposition V D Satheesan is scheduled to visit the region on Monday.

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