Government launches child healthcare scheme

The Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) minister C C Patil on Friday announced the launch of Bala Sanjeevini scheme, which will sponsor tertiary care treatment for children below six years.

At the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (IGICD) here, the minister said the scheme aims at reducing the neonatal and infant mortality rate in the state," he said. The minister also handed over a cheque of Rs 17.5 lakh to IGICD Director Shivananda.

While the scheme was to be launched this financial year, it got delayed due to red-tapism, said an official from the department.

Hence, out of the Rs 5.5 crore allocated for the scheme only Rs 137.5 lakh was released. However, the government has allocated Rs 16 crore for the upcoming year, Patil said. 

Apart from providing cover limit of Rs 50,000 for neonatal children and Rs 30,000 for the rest, the scheme will also give Rs 100 per day to the parent accompanying the child. Even the one time travel expenses of parents will be reimbursed, he said.

About the scheme

Under the scheme, children belonging to families below poverty line, who are registered either with the 53,000 anganwadis in the state or have enrolled in the Bhagyalakshmi scheme can avail the treatment facilities.

The children can avail the treatment for nearly 18 diseases including dengue, severe malaria, dysentery, pneumonia, anaemia, heart and neurological problems in five identified hospitals in the state.

These hospitals include IGICD, Bangalore, Dr Prabhat Kore Hospital, Belgaum, Bapuji Children's Hospital, Davangere, M R Medical College, Gulburga and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. Each hospital will cover the surrounding districts, apart from the district they are located.

The department has already registered 71 cases in the last one month including 13 in IGICD. In order to run the scheme smoothly, the department has deputed an official in all the five hospitals, who will coordinate between the patients and the hospital administration. 

Entry only for privileged near ICU

It is a known fact that restricted number of people are allowed to enter Intensive Care Units to maintain the sterile environment. However, on Friday, the minister and media persons were allowed to enter the neonatal and normal ICUs throwing the precautions to the winds.

None of the them including the Director wore gowns or took any special precautions, which the notice outside the units ordered by the director indicates. “We only allow the mother to enter ICU to feed the baby. Even fathers are rarely admitted because the babies are more susceptible to contact infection,” said a doctor. 

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