Despite the government’s claim that the infant mortality rate in Attappadi would be brought below the state average soon, two more tribal infants died owing to undernourishment-related reasons this week in Attappady here, one of the largest tribal settlements in Kerala.
A four-day-old girl child weighing 1.2 kg, born to Rajan and Parvathi hailing from Sholayur, died of heart ailments. She was declared brought dead at the government medical college in Thrissur, state health department officials said. She was born at the Government Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara last Friday.
In another case, a three-day-old male child of Murugan and Vinooja, wighing 2.8 kg, died at Varagambady in the region. She suffocated on the breast milk while her mother was nursing her. Though the baby boy was rushed to a hospital in Coimbatore which is 57 kilometers away, his life could not be saved, health officials said.
However, health officials did not divulge the exact date of the deaths. With these two cases, the death toll of infants has risen to five since January this year.
Attappady is one of the tribal settlements where large number of infant deaths have been reported in recent times. At present the infant mortality rate of the state stands at 12, while in Attappadi it is around 30.
According to health officials, malnutrition and anaemia are still prevalent in the tribal belts and over 3,000 children requiring immediate attention. As per 2011 census, there are only 30,658 tribespeople in the 192 hamlets in Attappady.