Directive to identify children with congenital heart diseases.

The Director of Health Services (DHS) has directed the District Medical Officers (DMOs) to take steps for identifying children with congenital heart diseases and making timely treatment available to them.

The DMOs should ensure that medical examination and scanning are done timely so as to identify and treat heart diseases early. They should also ensure that children till the age of 18 benefited from this, the order from the DHS said. The order comes in the wake of directions from the Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights following reports of increasing incidence of heart disease among newborns.

The DHS said the Health Department and National Health Mission had taken steps for early identification of such children. Screening of all newborns would be done using a pulse oximeter. Steps had also been taken to make treatment available in both government and private hospitals.

Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK) nurses had been given special training to screen children below 18 years, the DHS said.

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