Thiruvananthapuram: To traverse 600-odd km in an ambulance with a 15-day-old baby on board is not an easy job.
But if the government intervenes and offers help, the journey can be cut short and made easy.
An emergency surgery had to be performed on the new born of Sania and Mittah to fix a congenital cardiac problem for which she had to be taken to the super specialty Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram all the way from Mangaluru.
Soon after the ambulance left Mangaluru at 10am, news was out in the media and members of the voluntary Child Protect Team sprang into action to ease traffic on roads of Kerala and ensure a hassle-free journey for the little one.
The volunteers even went live on Facebook to keep the usually congested roads clear.
In no time, the message started appearing on social media pages and celebrity accounts and by afternoon, drew the attention of state health minister KK Shailaja.
She quickly made arrangements at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi where the government offered to bear the cost of treatment under the Hrudayam project.
The project is meant to treat infants born with cardiac problems and has dealt with 1,100 cases, so far.
Why no air ambulance?
However, along with the accolades, came in the criticism about why the government couldn’t make an arrangement for an air ambulance, which could have ensured an even faster treatment.
Shailaja immediately responded and said the state government did not own one.
The minister explained what it takes to buy an air ambulance and its proper maintenance and upkeep.
She said that as the state highways were equipped with full-fledged hospitals, the need for an air-ambulance had not come up yet. However, she assured that a situation demanded, the matter would be given a serious consideration in future.