Emphasising the need for early preparedness to be adequately in a position to manage vector borne diseases such as Dengue, Malaria, JE and AES in the coming monsoon months, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, J P Nadda reviewed the status of vector-borne diseases and the preparation of States through video conference, here today. The Union Health Minister interacted with Health Ministers, Chief Secretaries and Principal Health Secretaries of 11 States – Assam, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, MP, Telangana, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh. The advance review at the level of the Health Ministers and senior officials of the States was done in view of the predicted upsurge of vector borne diseases at the onset of monsoon.
J P Nadda reviewed the availability of diagnostic kits, drugs, testing labs, manpower and funds. Most States informed that they had adequate stored capacity of necessary drugs and testing kits. The testing facilities were also adequate, they noted. Nadda advised the States to ensure price capping on dengue testing by private health facilities.
Stressing on the importance of inter-sectoral coordination and convergence of efforts in not only the prevention but also management of vector borne diseases such as dengue, malaria etc., Nadda advised them to review and strengthen inter-sectorial coordination with Municipal Corporations and Departments of Sanitation, Drinking Water, Urban Development etc., for more focussed efforts within the States such as keeping premises of all public and private buildings free of vector-breeding. Municipal Corporations need to undertake house-to-house surveillance for more effective prevention and breeding control, he stated during the video conference. States reported that they have carried out rounds of fogging and DDT spraying and shall undertake other measures to prevent vector breeding. He also advised States to involve Resident Welfare Associations to sensitise them to keep the localities free of mosquitoes.
The Minister also underscored need to develop special strategy and effective micro-plans for endemic districts. He requested the Health Ministers to personally guide the State’s efforts and monitor the measures and assured the states of all necessary support to enhance their capacity to manage Vector Borne diseases. Effective surveillance and monitoring was key to success in combatting these diseases, he emphasised. The Health Minister also urged advised States to fill the vacant posts of Entomologists at the State, Zone and District level.