Malnutrition deaths have continued to haunt the tribal hamlet of Attapadi if the figures disclosed in a survey are any indication. It revealed that 483 tribals at Agali were suffering from malnutrition and anaemia.
“Sickle cell anaemia and thalassaemmia are rampant among the population. Recently three children were admitted for pre-mature birth at our hospital,” said Dr Rajesh, chief medical officer of the Kottathara Tribal Specialty Hospital.
“Usually the parents do not bring their children for regular check-ups. Yesterday, we had to bring an anaemic one-year-old child from Parappanthara. We gave him milk, eggs and a plantain and some Calcium B complex tablets,” said chief medical officer of Agali Community Health Centre Dr Sheriff.
The survey was being conducted by the Health Department, National Rural Health Mission, Tribal Development Department and the Integrated Child Development Scheme.
“We are planning to distribute food prepared by Kudumbashree at health camps. Some did not like the flavours of food supplements distributed to pregnant woman and children through the anganwadis. So we will change the flavours,” said District Medical Officer Venugopal. To the common complaint that the Social Welfare Department under which the ICDS functions had not distributed nutritional kits for the last two years, District Collector Ali Asghar Pasha said the kits were not being distributed in many ‘oorus’ since the panchayats were not allotting funds. Therefore only 2,100 were received by the various ICDS instead of the required 4,000 kits.