Governor expresses concern over infant deaths in Visakha agency area


Governor expresses concern over infant deaths in Visakha agency area                                                                                                          

Vijayawada, January 04 (prajaamaravati): Andhra Pradesh Governor Sri Biswa Bhusan Harichandan, who is also the Administrator of Scheduled and Tribal Areas in the State has expressed concern over the rise in number of infant deaths in Visakhapatnam agency area of Patharudakota village in Padabayalu Mandal in Visakhapatnam district and instructed Sri R.P. Sisodia, Special Chief Secretary to Governor, to obtain a detailed report from the Secretary, Tribal Welfare on the issue.

As per instructions of the Governor, Sri R.P. Sisodia, Special Chief Secretary to Governor, called for a detailed report from the Secretary, Tribal Welfare department, on the rise in infant deaths reported in Patharudakota village in Padabayalu Mandal in Visakhapatnam district and the remedial steps taken by the district administration to contain infant deaths in the Agency area.

In response to the letter from the Special Chief Secretary to Governor, the Secretary, Tribal Welfare, forwarded a detailed report on the issue received from the Director of Tribal Welfare. 

The Director of Tribal Welfare in his report stated that the Patharudakota village in Padabayalu Mandal in Visakhapatnam district, is a multi-tribe habitation of 138 households with Bagatha, Kondadora and few Poraja families and the villagers were panic stricken as a total of 14 infant deaths were reported since May 2018, out of which 8 infant deaths were reported within the past nine months itself. It was also reported that all the infant deaths took place within three months of their birth, all of them being institutional deliveries with normal birth weight and the mothers reported to be in good health condition. After detailed investigation, the cause of infant deaths in the area was found to be due to calcium deficiency in the mothers as well as drinking water contamination due to rusting of pipelines which were laid long time ago. 

As a result of the concern expressed by the Governor and the personal interest taken him by calling for a detailed report, the Director of Tribal Welfare has initiated steps to replace the drinking water pipeline, to provide a second ambulance for emergency medical service, to depute a multi-specialist team from KGH, Visakhapatnam, to deploy a staff nurse stationed at the village for close observation of health condition of new born children. The Tribal Welfare department has also made arrangements for the stay of lactating mothers along with their infant children at Birth Waiting Home in Munchingiputtu, provide additional nutrition to the pregnant and lactating mothers, laying of a drinking water pipeline to the PHC, immediately to provide safe drinking water. 

In his report, the Director of Tribal Welfare has also outlined the long term measures to be taken up in the Agency area such as setting up proper communication facilities, construction of a bridge over the rivulet between Rudakota and Patharudakota villages, construction of residential quarters for PHC staff, so that they are available in the village on a round the clock basis. 

Subsequently, a team of doctors from King George Hospital (KGH) had visited P. Rudakota village of Pedabayalu mandal, interacted with the local people and examined water, soil and other parameters to ascertain the cause. During preliminary assessment, doctors found that respiratory failure, due to lack of awareness of handling newborn babies could also be one of the reasons that led to the infant deaths. 

Governor Sri Harichandan instructed the concerned officials of the Tribal Welfare department to take immediate steps to ensure that the infant mortality rate in the Visakhapatnam Agency area is contained with immediate effect.