The Kerala government and the public came together to send a humanitarian message by creating a green corridor for an ambulance carrying a 15-day old infant boy with congenital heart disease, which completed a journey of around 400 kms in 5.5 hours.
The baby, who was born at a hospital in northern Kasaragod district, developed respiratory distress and had to be admitted to a private hospital in Mangaluru. Further, the baby also developed pneumonia with liver and kidney dysfunction. It was then that the parents decided to make a risky journey all the way to Thiruvananthapuram since it has affordable health care facilities.
A green corridor was immediately set up with the intervention of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who himself requested the public on Facebook to avoid clogging roads so that the ambulance can pass through.
Midway into the journey, the health administration, fearing health risks for the baby due to the long travel, decided to speak to the parents to convince them to seek treatment at a private hospital in Kochi, which would reduce the travel time. The government also decided to take care of the baby’s medical expenses by covering him under the Hridayam programme, funded through a public-private network of hospitals.
Health Minister KK Shylaja spoke to the parents and convinced them to admit the baby at a hospital in Kochi and also accept the government’s offer.
The green corridor for the ambulance was created with excellent coordination between police officers, the ambulance driver and a network of child support team volunteers who constantly put out updates on every aspect of the journey. The travel time of nearly 400 kms journey was completed in five and a half hours with just one stop made at Edappal to fill fuel.
The infant’s condition is said to be critical and he has been admitted to the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi. He has been put under observation for the next two days before deciding on the further course of action.