Union Health Minister JP Nadda chairs high-level meeting on Dengue preparedness

Highlighting the challenge posed by the onset of the monsoon and the potential increase in dengue cases during this season, Nadda stressed the importance of preparedness.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 10, 2024 | 6:32 PM Updated Jul 10, 2024 | 6:32 PM

Union Health Minister JP Nadda chairs high-level meeting on Dengue preparedness

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda chaired a crucial high-level meeting on Wednesday, 10 July, to review the dengue situation across the country and assess the preparedness of the public health system amidst the onset of the monsoon season and an increase in dengue cases globally.

It was informed that the Dengue Case Fatality Rate has decreased significantly, from 3.3% in 1996 to 0.1% in 2024, due to focused, timely, and collaborative efforts.

Highlighting the challenge posed by the onset of the monsoon and the potential increase in dengue cases during this season, Nadda stressed the importance of preparedness.

The meeting focused on enhancing prevention, containment, and management strategies to combat dengue effectively.

Nadda urged officials to prioritise high-burden states and regions prone to frequent outbreaks, emphasising proactive collaboration with states to achieve tangible outcomes in dengue prevention.

Highlighting the importance of inter-ministerial convergence, Nadda stressed the need for coordinated efforts involving the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Education Ministry, Municipal Corporations, and local self-governments. These efforts are aimed at strengthening awareness and control measures for dengue.

Also Read: All about dengue: A guide to navigate through the viral disease

Nationwide awareness and helpline initiative

The Union Health minister stated that the Union government has been proactively communicating with the states on timely action for prevention and control of dengue activities.

Various inter-sectoral meetings have been conducted to sensitise the stakeholders and ministries on their role and responsibilities on prevention and control of dengue. He informed that these activities will be further strengthened in coming years.

Nadda emphasised the need for extensive communication and awareness initiatives.

To educate communities about the Aedes mosquito, which primarily bites during the day, a widespread campaign among school going children and others will promote wearing protective clothing and eliminating stagnant water from containers and pots.

Additionally, a national Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) awareness campaign through TV, radio, and social media platforms will also be launched.

The officials were also directed to create a 24/7 central helpline number for dengue prevention and awareness, with states advised to operationalize similar helplines to provide support and information on symptoms, treatment protocols, and emergency assistance.

Nadda has directed AIIMS and all central government hospitals to have dedicated dengue wards that are fully equipped with trained manpower, drugs and other logistics. They have also been instructed to create a referral system to optimally utilise their clinical facilities.

Dr Atul Goel, Director General of Health Services (DGHS) highlighted the need for sensitising municipal bodies in states to prevent dengue outbreaks. He also suggested on improving coolers and tanks in buildings to make them immune from mosquito breeding.

Also Read: Rise of dengue cases in K’taka: it’s time for action, not political slugfest, say experts

Steps for Dengue control, management

The following measures have been taken for prevention, control and management of dengue across the country:

The Union government has issued 14 advisories in 2024 to sensitise states on preparedness for prevention and control of Dengue and Chikungunya. Various high-level meetings have been held to provide technical guidance to states from time to time.

For free diagnosis and disease surveillance, Sentinel Surveillance Hospitals were increased from 110 in 2007 to 848 in 2024.

National Dengue Day is observed on 16 May across the country to initiate pre-monsoon preventive activities.

Updated national guidelines for case management were released by the Union Health Minister on 10 August, 2023.

Master trainers from medical colleges and district hospitals were trained in four national-level sessions on updated guidelines to improve clinical management and prevent deaths due to Dengue.

Central teams are also regularly deployed to states to review disease situations, actions taken by states, and to provide technical guidance for disease containment.

Adequate diagnostic kits for both Dengue and Chikungunya have also been provided to the states.

(Edited by Shauqueen Mizaj)

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