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Kerala to extend Hridyam scheme to more hospitals

Hridyam, a scheme being implemented by the Health department with public-private participation for early detection and management of children with congenital heart diseases (CHD), will be extended to more hospitals, a statement issued by Health Minister Veena George said here on Monday.

The scheme was launched in 2017 August with special focus on early management of children with CHD as the management of CHD was crucial to the reduction of infant mortality in the State. The successful implementation of Hridyam was identified as one of key reasons for the steady drop in Kerala’s infant mortality rate which had been stagnant at 12 (per 1,000 live births) for a long time, before dropping to 7 in 2018 and later to 6.

Under Hridyam, children with CHD who require surgical correction of their cardiac anomalies are provided the same through empanelled public and private hospitals. Under the Health department, paediatric cardiac surgeries are now performed at SAT Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam Medical College Hospital.

At a review meeting held here on Monday, it was decided that paediatric cardiac surgery facilities would be developed at the Government Medical College, Kozhikode, and General Hospital, Ernakulam.

A four-member expert committee has been set up for strengthening paediatric cardiac surgery facilities in the State. The committee will examine the existing facilities in public sector hospitals and explore the possibilities for identifying and correcting cardiac anomalies in the foetal stage.

Till date, 5,897 children with CHD have been provided surgical correction of the anomalies. In 2023 alone, 446 children have undergone cardiac surgeries/interventions for correcting CHD. The follow-up care of these children, including their physical and mental development, is being monitored under the scheme. The Hindu

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