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Health Concerns, Epidemic Fear Loom Large Over Kerala as Floods Start Receding

Health advisories on infectious disease prevention and control, safe drinking water, hygiene measures, vector control have been prepared and shared with Kerala government.


Updated:August 20, 2018, 12:53 PM IST

New Delhi: Union Health Minister J P Nadda on Sunday said his ministry is extending all support to the relief measures in flood-battered Kerala, where 3,757 medical relief camps have been set up.

Thousands of people in flood-hit areas in Kerala are battling all odds to survive as the death toll has touched 197 in the past 10 days in the second spell of monsoon fury since August 8. Many are still stranded in their homes with no food and sheaths of water around them at various places in Alapuzha, Thrissur and Ernakulam districts.

"We are monitoring the flood situation in Kerala on a regular basis. Secretary (Health) is in constant communication with the state health functionaries and monitoring the situation daily through the disease surveillance network," Nadda said.

The Union minister said that he has spoken to Kerala Health Minister K K Shailaja and is personally monitoring the situation.

According to a official statement, 3,757 medical relief camps have been set up, and as requested by the state government, 90 types of medicines in the requested quantity are being sent to Kerala.

The first tranche of medicines shall reach tomorrow. The Health ministry is also coordinating with other states which have committed to providing medicines, so as to augment supplies.

Health advisories on infectious disease prevention and control, safe drinking water, hygiene measures, vector control have been prepared and shared with the state government.

While no outbreak of communicable disease has been reported, health experts opine that once the flood water starts receding, the environment would be conducive for epidemic prone diseases, the statement said, adding the state has been instructed to switch to daily surveillance and monitoring for epidemic prone diseases to detect early warning signs of an outbreak.

In consultation with the state government, the Centre will deploy teams for rapid health assessment and for taking appropriate public health measures to prevent and control outbreak of epidemic prone diseases.

Considering the additional burden of disease in the aftermath of the floods, quick response medical teams will also be sent to Kerala to provide emergency medical care, the statement said, adding support under National Health Mission will be provided to make the damaged primary health care infrastructure functional.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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