Andhra Pradesh : 30 tribal children dying in Agency area every month


By Jatlee Dontala

Visakhapatnam: Tribal women are successfully delivering children but unfortunately not able to protect them. Most of the children are dying before celebrating their first birthday. According to district medical and health office records 5,820 infants died in Visakhapatnam district since 2011 till September end of this year.

  • Till September end, 5,820 infants died in Visakhapatnam district since 2011
  • Most of the children die before celebrating their first birthday. On a recent count, 351 children died in Vizag district in six months
  • Only two specialists for six lakh tribals
  • Will inform CM, says Minister N Ananda Babu
  • 60 deaths in September alone

The records said 341 infants died during the last six months including 185 in the agency. The Chief Minister’s adopted village Pedalabudu also recorded deaths. On an average 30 children are dying per month due to the lack of proper medication and non-availability of gynaecologists and paediatricians in the agency area.

The records said 64 children died in September month alone and of them 40 children are from tribal tracts.There are about 15,270 pregnant women in all the tribal mandals but the medical services were found to the inadequate, reports said from the agency.

Appala Narasamma of Pedalabudu panchayat said her 10-month-old baby died as there was no doctor found nearby to attend the emergency situation.Laxmi, who lost her nine-month-old baby due to jaundice in Ranajalleda village in Araku mandal said her baby could have been saved had a pediatrician was available to treat the child.

There is one paediatrician in the agency and one gynaecologist to treat lakhs of tribals.  Around 5,938 new born need attention of a paediatrician, local tribal leaders said. Iron and B complex tablets are given to the lactating mothers and paracetomol for the children.

The official sources said there are 108 pregnant women in Pedalabudu village (CM adopted village) and they are tensed as they reach advanced stage. There is no facility for C Section delivery and they have to be sent to Narsipatnam area hospital.

If the cases get complicated, they are forwarded to King George Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The journey takes long putting them in a risk. Even they do not have sufficient funds to manage the deliveries in the city. Many pregnant women are dying during travel.

The 11 tribal mandals in the agency area have 36 primary health centres and  community health centres in Araku, Paderu, GK Veedhi, Munchungput mandals.Doctors report at 11am and close by 2 pm every day. The pregnant women have to wait for doctor regularly. If they miss, they have to go home and return the following day suffering from pains.

Minister for Tribal welfare Nakka Ananand Babu said that the deaths of children in hundreds is very painful. “I will question the district collector and project officer of ITDA why they are unable to provide sufficient gynaecologists and paediatricians. I will also issue notice to them for their negligence. I will take the matter to CM’s notice and immediately ask to collector to depute additional specialist doctors for the tribal area,’’ the minister told this correspondent on Thursday.

Joint director for Medical and health Dr Rama Rao said that doctors are not coming to work in Agency areas in spite of good salary offer. “I will inform the higher officials about infant deaths and initiate necessary action,’” Rama Rao said.

District medical and health officer Dr R Ramesh said that we are taking at most precautions to reduce the deaths but due to several reasons children are dying. “We are taking actions to increase specialists in the Agency. We have given notification for them but getting less response,” he added.

The article has been republished from The Hans India, October 7, 2017. (Picture courtesy: The Hans India)



Editorial Team of Adivasi Resurgence.

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