J P Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, held a high level meeting to review the preparedness of the Ministry for prevention and control of vector borne diseases (dengue, malaria, chikungunya) in the country, here today. During the meeting, Nadda asked the States for mounting aggressive IEC campaigns to enhance awareness on prevention and control of vectors in their surrounding areas and neighbourhoods.
C K Mishra, Secretary (Health), Dr Saumya Swaminathan, Secretary (DHR) and DG (ICMR), Dr. (Prof) Jagdish Prasad, DGHS and other senior officers of the Union Health Ministry, National Vector-Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) were also present in the meeting along with Directors/ MS from the Central Government hospitals.
Taking stock of the situation, Nadda was briefed on the preparations of the Health Ministry and was informed that Technical Guidelines for prevention and control and clinical management were developed and shared with the states for implementation. The Ministry has also conducted review meeting with the states and more than 13 advisories have been sent to all States as early as January for strengthening their preparedness before the vector borne disease season. The Health Minister was further informed that the Ministry has requested the States/UTs to declare Dengue as notifiable disease for improving reporting and for taking preventive measures in the affected areas. Under the guidance and direction of the Union Health Minister, Government of India has initiated several awareness programmes through print and electronic media and issue advertisements for controlling these diseases. Besides, for sensitization of the masses on the subject, the National Dengue Day was celebrated on 16th May, 2017.
Nadda stated that the Union Health Ministry has already provided all logistical and technical support to the States including Delhi in terms of surveillance and diagnostic kits to strengthen their efforts in addressing Dengue and chikungunya. Noting that community participation and empowerment are the most crucial areas in prevention, Nadda urged all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding the preventive steps to be taken by the people in their communities.
The Health Minister also directed the officers to conduct regular supervisory visits to the States and various hospitals for assessing the situation, preparedness and to provide on the spot technical guidance to the health authorities. He also directed the officers to be vigilant and monitor the situation in the northern states including Delhi as vector borne diseases increases with monsoon in these states. The Minister also asked Secretary (Health) to review the preparedness of the States through a video conference.