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Govt to probe death of malnourished tribal kids

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Palakkad: Taking serious note of the death of at least four tribal children due to malnutrition in Palakkad district in recent weeks, state ministers for Health and Tribal welfare Saturday visited the affected areas to review the situation and announced an inquiry into the matter.

After visiting some of the tribal hamlets and a hospital at Attappadi area, Tribal Welfare Minister P K Jayalakshmi and Health Minister V S Sivakumar said a special health package would be implemented in the area to attend to health concerns of the tribal people, especially mothers and children.

The ministers said the probe would also examine whether there was any negligence on the part of medical authorities in providing timely attention to mothers during and after delivery and the neo-natal babies.

District medical officials have confirmed malnutrition and anaemia as the main cause for the death of at least four children in recent weeks.

However, unconfirmed reports, mostly put out by NGOs, claimed that at least 30 children have died in the last 15 months due to malnutrition in Attappady and adjoining settlements, having the highest concentration of tribal population in Kerala.

A recent health survey in the area came across as many as 412 cases of anaemia and 67 cases of nourishment, which required urgent medical attention. The survey had covered over 20,000 individuals in about 6500 households.

Tribal organisations here have complained of short supply of food articles and medicines in their settlements and the drought situation and unemployment have made life more miserable for large number of families.

PTI

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