Over 5,000 children underwent free heart surgeries under the Hridyam programme launched by the health department to reduce infant mortality rate.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and state secretary M V Govindan, went to great lengths to explain why accepting such an award would have clashed with the party’s inherent ideology.
However, CPM’s Kerala unit put its foot down, arguing against Shailaja getting the award in her individual capacity, and that ultimately drove the party’s decision to ask her to decline the honour.
A section of health experts feels the impact of such an award on the recipient’s field of work and public in general would have been big.
Union Health Minister J P Nadda said he would evaluate with the state government the rehabilitation and rebuilding work being carried out in the affected areas.
Kerala Health Minister K.K. Shailaja on Wednesday said that the outbreak of Nipah virus (NiP), which has claimed 10 lives, has been contained and there was no need to panic.