As heatwaves loom, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya calls for urgent measures

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Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday, April 3, underlined the urgency for proactive measures in light of the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecast of an elevated risk of heatwaves due to the El-Nino phenomenon.

Addressing a meeting to assess Delhi’s preparations for combating rising temperatures, amid concerns of an impending heatwave, Mandaviya said, “Continuous efforts towards generating awareness for people for better management of heatwaves is necessary as effective address leads to effective management.”

Mandaviya acknowledged the lack of accurate ground-level data, and advocated for the creation of a central database, pooling inputs from states to provide a realistic assessment of the situation, including data on cases and deaths related to heatwaves. He also highlighted the importance of timely action as soon as IMD alerts are received in the states.

“Timely, advance and wide awareness among the people on the preventive measures will hugely support in reducing the severe impact of such heatwaves,” he said.

Officials from the IMD provided a detailed analysis of heatstroke forecasting, climatology, and vulnerable zones in India, highlighting the importance of updated ‘heat action plans’ in states and districts.

In line with the meeting’s discussions, an advisory has been issued by the Union health secretary to all chief secretaries, urging compliance with the National Action Plan on Heat-Related Illnesses for effective preparedness of health facilities. Additionally, guidelines for the general population and vulnerable groups during the summer months have been issued by the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

Dr Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, and Dr VK Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog also joined the meeting.

Pawar emphasized the formation of state-level and district-level committees for information and awareness campaigns, urging for the equipping of Ayushman Arogya Mandirs with essential resources such as water coolers and ice packs. She also stressed the acceleration of field-level implementation of state action plans to address the adverse effects of heatwaves.

Ayushman Arogya Mandirs come under a scheme of the government meant to deliver comprehensive healthcare services spanning preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care.

Dr Paul underlined the importance of ensuring adherence to guidelines at the state level, advocating for the dissemination of treatment protocols through various platforms, including webinars. He also highlighted the necessity of creating a repository of heat-related data from each state.

The article is in Romanian

Tags: heatwaves loom Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya calls urgent measures

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