Business Standard

Heatwaves: Govt ask states, UTs to assess public health preparedness

The move comes after Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a review meeting on Wednesday

Heat wave causes over 300 deaths in Telangana: Official

Sanket Koul New Delhi

Listen to This Article

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has asked the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and the departments of health and disaster management to issue health advisories to all state and union territory administrations.

The move comes after Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya chaired a review meeting on Wednesday to assess public health preparedness after the IMD forecasted severe heatwaves in the upcoming summer months.

Addressing the need for stakeholders to create awareness among the public, Mandaviya said that timely public awareness about preventive measures will help reduce the impact of such heatwaves.

"The IMD has predicted that temperatures will be higher than usual this summer. Considering that this is an election year, it is important that heatwaves do not cause any inconvenience to people," he added.

Highlighting the lack of accurate data from the ground, Mandaviya noted the importance of creating a central database with inputs from states to share field-level data on heatwaves, including deaths and cases, so that a realistic assessment of the situation can be made.

The health ministry has been pressed into action, with the health secretary issuing joint advisories with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

In his letter to chief secretaries of all states and union territories, the health secretary requested their compliance with the National Action Plan on Heat-Related Illnesses (HRI) for effective preparedness of health facilities to address heat impact and manage cases.

"States have been advised to review health facility preparedness in terms of essential medicines, intravenous fluids, ice-packs, ORS, drinking water as well as information and education campaign (IEC) activity for the public," the ministry said in a press release.

Heat Action Plans have already been updated in 23 states, while around 100 districts have their action campaign on heatwave awareness generation.

"The plans include standard operating procedures (SOPs) for surveillance of heat stroke cases and deaths, preparedness plans before and during the summer season, with a special emphasis on Heat-Related Illness (HRI) in vulnerable sections," the health ministry added.

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Apr 03 2024 | 10:54 PM IST

Explore News