A total of 5,041 children with congenital heart problems have been offered free surgeries under a scheme launched by the Kerala government, with an objective to reduce infant mortality rate in the state.
Of the total 1,002 children who underwent surgery under the “Hridyam” scheme this year, 475 were infants below one year-old, state Health Minister Veena George said on Thursday.
The scheme has been designed to help children, from newborns to 18 years of age. Even if an unborn child is diagnosed with heart disease, follow-up treatment from its birth onwards is provided free of cost through the initiative, the minister said here in a statement.
Both the cost of treatment and the heart surgery of the children, included in the scheme, are covered the government.
“Eight out of 1,000 children are found to have been suffering from heart diseases. Of them, 50 per cent of children need treatment. Many children need surgery,” George said stressing the significance of the scheme.
Noting that the “Hridyam” scheme was launched with the participation of the private sector as well, she said as many as 9 state-run and private hospitals have been empaneled for the project.
The present objective of the government is to expand the scheme to help more children, she said, adding that the follow-up treatment of the registered beneficiaries is also assured.
A follow-up support programme has been launched for the physical, mental and intellectual growth and development of such children.
The aim is to ensure the growth and progress of children with the assistance of District Early Intervention Centres and nurses under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) scheme, the minister said.
Those who need the free surgery should register under hridyam.kerala.gov.in and more details can be availed by contacting in the toll free number Disha 1056.
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