To raise public health awareness, we have plans to launch several skill centres across Hyderabad. Two centres for Telangana and three for Andhra Pradesh have been sanctioned. To implement the best learnt practices, demo critical health management programme is also being run, says Dr Anuradha Medoju, Senior Regional Director, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, MoHFW, Government of India, and Chief of International Health Airport Organisation under Government of India (AP&TS), in conversation with Sudheer Goutham of Elets News Network (ENN).
Q: What new tech-driven initiatives and innovations have been implemented by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)?
In Telangana, the MoHFW is soon going to launch a navigation-based health initiative. Like petrol pumps, now all health establishments in Telangana will be visible on the Google Maps. With this application, patients and their relatives would be able to locate the nearby hospital easily.
In addition, we have sub-centred two medical colleges. We have provided them the required financial aid. Besides, we will monitor the progress and implementation of the programmes, identify the lapses and find their relevant solutions.
The ministry is also going to introduce several new projects and district health centres.
In our country, we can overcome the existing lack of knowledge about healthcare by ensuring quality education in medical colleges. We have plans to launch several skill centres across Hyderabad. As of now, we have sanctioned two centres for Telangana and three centres for Andhra Pradesh.
In a bid to implement the best learnt practices, we are also running demo critical health management programme.
In future, many medical colleges are in the wish list. Through various innovations and initiatives, we are trying to spread the message across and inspire more and more people and States to replicate these ideas. We are also spreading the word through media.
Q: How would you describe the recent accomplishments on the healthcare landscape?
Of the all best practices, “Aasara Pension”, a pension scheme of the Government of Telangana, has been the most appreciated one. It is a welfare scheme which offers pension to the elderly people, widows, Goud community, elephantiasis patients, AIDS afflicted people, physically disabled, and Beedi workers. Till March 2018, the scheme had benefitted about 42 lakh people.
After the initiation by the District Collector with the report of Regional Offices of Health and Family Welfare (RoH & FW), Hyderabad a thorough survey has taken a proper shape. In Khammam division, in a population of 7,70,196, a total of 3,243 cases have been noticed.
In Kalluru Division, in a population of 2,48,129, a total of 73 cases have been detected, in 6 PHCs, Microfilaria Survey has also been conducted at eight places in which out of 4,020 micro slides, 49 asymptomatic cases have been identified randomly by the local staff.
To keep a check on Lymphatic Filariasis, we have launched an incentive programme for ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workers. If the ASHA worker identifies any case of Lymposis, she is to get Rs 200. Not just in the high endemic areas of Lyme disease (caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato) but in the low endemic areas also.
There is a need to use latest technologies in the health sector for reaching out to the underserved. Every State across the country should also adapt the best practices learnt from each other.
Q: What is the state of maternal healthcare across Telangana?
To improve the level of maternal health, we are undertaking a lot of measures across the State. Recently, around 18 maternal deaths were reported within a week.
Suggestions have been given pertaining to the overcrowded specialty centres which ultimately give rise to infections causing deaths. There is a need to follow a proper referral system. It is a general tendency that patients visit the specialty centres without visiting the available secondary level institution.
We have now refurbished our all secondary level centres. All the 24 health centres have been converted into community health centres. Also, a message has been circulated all around that speciality centres should be used only for critical deliveries.
Q: Tell us about Airport Health Organisation in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The health measures undertaken across all the airports in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana under supervised by me. At Airport Health Organisation, we take care of all concerns pertaining to international health such as regular check-ups and screenings against outbreak of Ebola Virus, Swine-Flu, Chika, Yellow fever etc.