To control the spread of the Vector Borne Diseases post heavy rainfall in Punjab, the STF meeting was held under the chair of the Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister, Mr. Chetan Singh Jauramajra. The Health Minister reviewed the activities being carried out by various departments to deal with the growing threat of dengue and instructed the departments to make collaborated efforts to control dengue and malaria and chikungunya to safeguard the health of the people of the state.
He also directed the officers of the Local Bodies Department and Punjab State Rural Development to further strengthen the activities to be done to control dengue and malaria.
Divulging important information, Mr. Chetan Singh Jauramajra stated that dengue is a notifiable disease in Punjab and the department has fixed the price of dengue tests in private hospitals and laboratories at Rs. 600 across the state so that people can avail of this service at reasonable rates.
2,113 confirmed cases have been reported till 29 September 2022 and major districts reporting dengue cases are Rupnagar (390), SAS Nagar (436), Fatehgarh Sahib (206), Ferozepur (150), and SBS Nagar (153).
Regarding the preparedness of the Health Department to combat dengue, Mr. Jauramajra stated that 1,274 dengue beds have been dedicated for dengue wards in the government hospitals for the management of dengue cases. 42 sentinel surveillance hospitals have been established for free dengue diagnosis in the state.
He informed that 855 breeding checkers have been hired in all 23 districts for checking of the larva of the Aedes mosquito in urban as well as rural areas. The health minister directed the local bodies department to carry out fogging in the cities and towns at regular intervals. He further said that most of the dengue cases have been reported in four districts in the state and the situation is under control in the rest of the state. Similarly, very few cases of malaria and chikungunya have been reported.
He urged people to not let water stagnate in their homes and around them to prevent mosquito breeding. He also asked people to immediately visit government hospitals in case of any symptoms and get tested for dengue and malaria. These tests are available free of cost at government hospitals.
Disclosing further, the minister said that a special awareness campaign involving children shall be started by the education department. For this, special camps must be organised in the schools to educate them on preventive steps to ward off various vector-borne diseases. He ordered the officials of the Health Department to involve NGOs in the awareness campaign.
The Health Minister directed the officers of the Water Supply and Sanitation Department to immediately rectify the malfunctioning water sewage system anywhere in the state. So that outbreaks of water-borne diseases can be prevented. On the occasion, the Secretary, of Health and Family Welfare Ajoy Sharma apprised the minister regarding the preventive measures concerning dengue and directed the officers of the department to mount a sustained campaign to combat dengue, malaria, and Chikungunya besides constituting WhatsApp groups of the concerned Nodal Officers to keep track of the progress.
On this occasion, Programme officer Dr. Arshdeep Kaur has given a comprehensive presentation, about these diseases, in which facts of recent years analysed thoroughly. Among others present included Chairman Punjab Health System Corporation Raman Behal, Secretary Health and Family Welfare Ajoy Sharma, Secretary Medical Education and Research Alaknanda Dayal, Mission Director NHM Abhinav Trikha, MD, PHSC Neelima, Director Health and Family Welfare Dr. Ranjit Singh Ghotra, Director Health Services (Family Welfare) Dr. Ravinder Pal Kaur, Senior Regional Director Dr. Amarjit Kaur, Program Officer NVBDCP Dr. Arshdeep Kaur, and the officers from the Rural Development and Panchayats, State Transport, Medical Education and Research, School Education, Labour, Water Supply & Sanitation and Indian Medical Association representatives.