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Involve field-level workers to fight dengue, malaria, chikungunya, says JP Nadda

LiveMint logoLiveMint 10-08-2017 Neetu Chandra Sharma

New Delhi: For effective control and prevention of vector-borne diseases such as dengue, malaria and chikungunya, the Centre on Wednesday asked the states to involve field-level workers, municipal corporations and municipalities.

Union Health minister J.P. Nadda convened a high-level review meeting to take stock of the situation on prevention and control of vector-borne diseases. Nadda directed the stakeholders to begin rigorous awareness campaigns about the preventive steps to be taken by people in their communities.

“There is no shortage of medicines, masks, diagnostic kits and the states will be extended all possible help,” said Nadda. He also sought a report on the availability of NS1 kits used for detection of dengue, as some states said they do not have enough stock.

“The Ministry has also conducted a review meeting with the states and 14 advisories have been sent to all states as early as January this year for strengthening their preparedness before the vector-borne disease season,” an official statement said.

Concerned over under-reporting of dengue cases, the health ministry has also asked states and Union territories to declare dengue as a notifiable disease for improving reporting and for taking preventive measures in the affected areas.

Till date, 13 states and UTs—Chandigarh, Delhi, D&N Haveli, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh—have declared dengue as a notifiable disease.

According to Union health ministry, till 6 August, a total of 31,117 cases and 48 deaths due to dengue have been reported. The maximum number of cases were reported from Kerala (14,606), followed by Tamil Nadu (5,968), Karnataka (4,643), Andhra Pradesh (798), Gujarat (734), Maharashtra (718) and West Bengal (571). In Delhi, no death has been reported out of a total 365 cases (185 of these cases are from Delhi and 180 from other states but reported in Delhi).

A total of 18,805 clinically suspected chikungunya cases have been reported from 20 states and four UTs. In Delhi alone, around 246 clinically suspected chikungunya cases have been reported. At least 352,013 malaria cases have been reported till June and 30 deaths have taken place across 29 states.

Also, the National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME 2016-2030) was disseminated to all states and UTs with instructions to initiate key actions. The ministry has also drafted a 12-point Roadmap for Malaria Elimination for rolling out malaria elimination activities in the country, officials told Nadda.

“Officials from the Ministry have also had meeting with organised government sector (Army, Navy, Air Force, Border Security Force or BSF, Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF, Railways) for support in malaria elimination. A National Malaria Task Force, under the Union Health Secretary, and a Technical Working Group, under the DGHS, for oversight of all malaria elimination activities in the country, have also been formed,” the statement said.

The ministry has been distributing 23.5 million long-lasting insecticidal nets and more are in the pipeline. Further, eight states have successfully launched their respective plans for malaria elimination and other states and UTs are in the process of finalising their action plans for elimination.

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