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Nation Current Affairs 14 Aug 2019 Health dept pulls up ...

Health dept pulls up socks to battle after-flood diseases

Published Aug 14, 2019, 1:54 am IST
Updated Aug 14, 2019, 1:54 am IST
Health minister K.K. Shailaja reviewed the situation at a high level meeting here Tuesday.
K.K. Shailaja
 K.K. Shailaja

Thiruvananthapuram: With the possibility of an outbreak of waterborne and vector borne diseases likely in the flood-affected areas, the health department has put in place a comprehensive plan to tackle the danger.

Along with the serving doctors, the authorities are seeking the services of nearly 500 doctors who have enrolled as volunteers for carrying out medical work in relief camps and flood affected areas.


The health department staff has been asked to cancel their leave and report for duty for the exercise to tackle effectively communicable and infectious diseases during natural disasters.

Health minister K.K. Shailaja reviewed the situation at a high level meeting here Tuesday.

Nodal officers have been appointed for each district to carry out the cleaning and sanitation operations.

The department has been directed to put in place required medical facilities to meet any situation arising during the natural calamity. The efforts should be to make all medical facilities available near flood-affected areas so that people do not have to be taken long distance for proper treatment.


Isolation wards have been created in hospitals for providing treatment to patients affected by infectious diseases. In each district, the authorities have been asked to provide adequate medical facilities in camps, doctors, required medicines and other paraphernalia including bleaching powder and chlorine tablets .

The government has sought help from authorities of Tamil Nadu , Karnataka and Puducherry for providing medical care facilities in the interstate border areas.

A state-level 24/7 control room has been opened in health directorate with the number 0471-2302160. The control room will be focusing mainly on emergency medial care, medical assistance in camps, ensure safety of drinking water, monitoring, prevention and control of air, water and vector borne diseases.


 The control room is functioning to coordinate these activities. Each section is functioning under the direct monitoring of nodal officer and reporting officer. District control rooms have also been opened for carrying out same activities. Besides, health department staff has been deployed in all places especially the flood- affected districts. Doctors are being deployed on priority in such areas.

 Apart from health service and medical education department doctors, the government has also deployed PG students, house surgeons, doctors from the private hospitals, members of doctors’ organisations, health workers and volunteers.


Health workers have been put in charge of relief camps to ensure the medical needs of the people lodged there are taken care of. In case anyone requires additional medical care, the same is being arranged. The reporting of health issues has been given priority.

Priority needs to be given to prevent the communicable diseases in the post flood situation. Clean drinking water needs to be ensured.

 The authorities said rat fever, dengue , H1N1, diarrhea, jaundice, typhoid and cholera are likely in the post flood situation. Oral re-hydration therapy will be made available in relief camps. Those coming in contact with flood waters run the risk of contracting rat fever.


The department has advised that all engaged in rescue and relief  operations in these areas take doxycyline. Sufficient quantity of the medicine has been stocked in relief camps, it has said.