Enhance health care facilities in Erode

To provide better treatment under Kalaignar insurance scheme

ERODE: Erode district was ranked second in the State for providing treatment to the people under the Kalaignar Insurance Scheme for Life Saving Treatments, Collector R. Sudalaikannan said.

Participating in a mass contact programme held in Vijayapuri village panchayat here recently, the Collector called upon the healthcare sector in the district to enhance the facilities to provide treatment to more people under this scheme.

Coimbatore district was ranked first as it has hospitals with advanced facilities.

Even people from Erode district were going to Coimbatore seeking advanced healthcare services, he pointed out. Over 5.12 lakh families in the district were given the Smart Card under the Kalaignar Insurance scheme till date, he added.

The Collector appealed to the elected representatives of local bodies to extend their support for the successful completion of the Census exercise.

The first phase of the Census 2011exercise, House listing and Housing Census, is being carried out in all the parts of the district.

In the household enumeration, to be carried out till July 15, the owner of the house will be asked to provide details for 35 questions.

The second phase, called the Population Enumeration phase, will be held in February in 2011.

A unique feature of this census is the preparation of National Population Register (NPR), in which all persons aged over 15 years will be photographed and fingerprinted to create a biometric national database. The Census 2011 will form the base for the issuance of national individual identity cards, the Collector said.

Mr. Sudalaikannan wanted the elected representatives to co-ordinate with the field staff and help the people in their respective areas to furnish their details.

Later he distributed welfare assistance to the tune of Rs. 12.87 lakh to 242 beneficiaries.

Senior officials from various departments participated in the programme.

From THE HINDU

Advertisements

Drinking water detrimental for health

ALLAHABAD: The unabated supply of contaminated water in prime localities of the city is affecting the health of people as there has been a steep rise in cases of water-borne diseases. In fact, about 60% patients visiting city primary/community or government hospitals are prone to water-borne diseases, health department officials are encouraging people to drink safe, clean and pure water to keep them fit & healthy.

While Allahabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities are claiming that they have been taking corrective measures to rectify the broken and out-dated pipe lines, the authorities of health department on their part are also apprising denizens about the benefits of pure water. Claiming that pure water is free from any colour, odour, taste & turbidity, where as wholesome water is pure water which contains adequate amount of dissolved oxygen but no microorganisms and other organic pollutants and is free from microbial and chemical toxins, health officials asserted that “once the people come to acknowledge between the difference between contaminated and pur water, cases of water-borne diseases would be checked automatically”.

Three days back, residents of Katghar and Unchwagarhri have complained to municipal authorities against the supply of contaminated water and the city mayor Chowdhary Jitendra Nath Singh, after listening to their grievances has further asked district authorities to initiate necessary steps so that clean and pure water can be supplied to the houses.

The mayor told TOI that he had asked the district magistrate, Allahabad to take precautionary and required measures to solve public complaints as far as supply of contaminated water was concerned. He further admitted that supply of contaminated water was reported in Katghar area as there were leakages in water pipe joints. Here, the water flowing in sewerlines is mixing with main water supply line due to leakage in joints and as a result, contaminated water is flowing in taps. Similar conditions were reported in Unchwagarhi despite the fact that new water supply line is being laid down.

Dr Meesum SAM, senior medical officer, community health says, “people usually fall sick after consuming contaminated water.” He added there has been a steep rise in the cases of water borne diseases in both rural and urban areas.

Dr SAM added that people usually fall prey to water-borne diseases as they never take notice of quality of water being consumed by them. Stressing that intake of fresh and pure water could tackle the crisis, the department has initiated few measures asking people to know more about water and its nature.

Additional CMO, Dr VK Srivastava says, “Water-borne (bacteria) diseases including Cholera, Typhoid, Dysentery and Diarrhoea spread due to consumption of contaminated water.”

The fact is that most of the health problems are being generated through water-borne diseases and even kills children across the nation. In India every year one in 5 deaths less than 5 year is due to diarrhoea.

Recently, a city based corporator had raised the issue of the death of a seven year-old girl due to contaminated water supply during nagar nigam sadan meeting.

The health department usually educate people about the difference between pur and contaminated water ” said Dr SAM adding that educational programmes are being taken effectively in the same regard.

Areas like Rajapur, Khuldabad, Nakhas Kohna, Kalyani Devi, Meerapur, Dariyabad, Shahganj, Rani mandi, Jhunsi, Saray Mamrez, sarayinayat, Soraon, Mauaima and Naini frequently complain against the supply of contaminated water. While AMC authorities claim to have initiated efforts to solve public grievances, health department officials claim that a few tips could improve the scenario.

In the past three months, over 732 patients suffering from water borne diseases were admitted at various hospitals.

IN A NUTSHELL

* Around 88% of diarrhoeal disease is attributed to unsafe water supply, inadequate sanitation and hygiene. About 1.8 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases and 1600 daily in India 6 lakh children annually die due to diarrhoeal diseases in India21% of communicable diseases are related to unsafe water 59% to total health budget is spend in tackling health impact of water pollution in India.

* Water Hygiene has its significance. Fresh water resources are limited and people are compelled to use untreated water.

* Drinking water problem is not only in terms of availability of quantity but also quality of the water available. Rural drinking water supply is to a large extent dependent on ground water (85 %).

Dissolved salts maKE the water hard and unpalatable-Here the department officials provide some preventive measures.

Wash hands especially after using the toilet or handling pets or soil.

Wash fruits and vegetables with clean water, to eat

Avoid unpastuerized milk and dairy products.

Cooking and boiling kills germs.

Dont drink untreated water from lakes, rivers or pools. Always drink treated and filtered water

Water swallowed while swimming and water amusement may be harmful to health.

Clean surfaces where diapers are changed after every use.

More precautions are needed while travelling to developing countries.

Proper Biomedical and solid waste management

Keep the area clean around water reservoir.

Closed drain system and only treated water be allowed in lakes and rivers. Leak proof pipe lines

Proper disposal of solid and biomedical waste

Limit indiscriminate use of organic fertilisers and pesticides.

Ban open field defecation Total sanitation programme.

Control Measures of Intestinal Infestations. —–Most of these are preventable through good personal hygiene, improved environmental sanitation and effective public health measures.

* Proper disposal faeces.

* Personal Protection.

1. Food. Ground or root vegetables used for making salads should be cleaned and washed with potable water thoroughly and preferably peeled before use. Pork, beef and fish should be well cooked to destroy to infective for of parasites embedded in flesh.

2. Water. The drinking water should be boiled or filtered to prevention infection through ingestion of infected cylops.

3. Skin. Children should be encouraged to wear shoes while going to field for playing or defecation in open.

*.Health education and personal hygiene–

1 The habit of washing hands after defecation and before taking food should be encouraged.

2 Nails should be cut and cleaned with clean water soap and brush.

3 Daily bath and scrupulous personal cleanliness should be advised. The under clothes should not be dirty.

4 Information about the mode of infection with the helminthes, method of prevention and treatment should be widely disseminated.

(source health department) – From TOI

WWF-India strengthens patrolling of Assam’s wilderness during winter

Health camps in Manas NP and Pobitora WLS for frontline forest staff & patrol elephants

A haven for wildlife
Assam state is home to diverse habitats that harbor a rich variety of wildlife, but the same urgently need enhanced protection. The conservation issues here are being addressed by WWF-India through landscapes approach under the North Bank Landscape (NBL) and Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong Landscape (KKL) programmes, in partnership with the Forest Department, Government of Assam and various NGOs.

It is crucial that forest staff & patrol elephants have regular health check ups. © Amit Sharma/WWF-India

Within the NBL lies Manas National Park, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, while Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the important rhino bearing Protected Areas of Assam. Manas National Park is located on the international border with Bhutan, along the foothills of the Himalayas. Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary on the other hand, lies about 50 km to the east of Guwahati.

Reasons to be fit
According to Amit Sharma, Coordinator, Rhino Conservation, WWF-India, “One of the many health hazards the forest staff and patrol elephants working to protect forest areas face, in this landscape, is that of extreme weather. It is crucial that the forest staff and patrol elephants have their health check ups in the post monsoon period as there is a high incidence of seasonal diseases like malaria, diarrhea.” He adds “Both the forest staff as well as their patrol elephants need to be fit to protect the wilderness in winter.” Keeping this in view, three health camps- one each for forest staff and elephants working under Basbari Range were organized by WWF-India in Manas National Park on 13th December, 2009 and one for the frontline field staff of Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary on 17th January, 2010.

The Manas health camps were organized jointly by the NBL team of WWF-India, ATREE (UNESCO-WHS program) and Assam Forest Department in collaboration with the Dept. of Health and Family Welfare, Barpeta district, Indian Medical Association (IMA), Barpeta Road, College of Veterinary Sciences (CVSc), Khanapara and Blue Cross Society, Guwahati.

An elephant being treated at the Manas health camp. © Amit Sharma/ WWF-India

According to Debo Kumar Dutta, Senior Project Officer, NBL, “The doctors also went to the interior camps of the range to ensure maximum coverage. The needy were provided with appropriate medicines along with advice for care and precautions.” He said “The doctors talked about taking greater precautions on an emergency basis as the high Annual Parasite Levels detected may lead to an outbreak of malaria in an epidemic form in the area. The frontline staffs were advised to take precautions to prevent malaria. The patrol elephants were administered with drugs whereever required. Minerals and food supplements were provided to the mahouts to be administered by them as advised by the doctors.” “Plans are in place to cover the staff and patrol elephants of the remaining two ranges of Manas National Park,” he adds.

The Pobitora health camp was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Tonmoy Das and was led by Dr. Ramananda Das with the assistance of 4 experienced doctors and 10 paramedical staff from the hospital. About 100 people attended the camp. In addition to general health check-ups, tests were conducted to detect sugar level and malaria; ECG was also done on some patients. Free medical treatment was provided to those with critical illness. It was organised with support of International Hospitals, Guwahati in association with the Assam Forest Department and Pobitora Conservation Society.

These health camps will go a long way in securing the lives of Assam’s wildlife and their protectors – the forest staff.

From WWF

Climate change and health are interconnected

Different arguments are made on different platforms

“With global warming and climactic changes, coastal regions are likely to be affected more”

“Civic body is trying to install solar lights and encouraging planting of more saplings”

CHENNAI: As we get ready to turn the decade, it is obvious that whatever lifestyle modifications we make, it is important to factor in climate change and its impact on health.

The world has already taken cognisance of the impact of climate change on health, but the different arguments are made on different platforms and are yet to come together forcefully enough to influence policy.

Speaking at the K. S. Sanjivi Memorial Lecture in the city recently, K. Srinath Reddy, president, Public Health Foundation of India, stressed the need for public health to be wholistic. “If we ignore other realities such as climate change and ignore the interconnectedness, again we will be taking a limited perspective,” he said.

Dr. Reddy used an example to highlight the interconnectedness. Cardiologists from the WHO recommend a dietary modification to reduce red meat consumption; the World Cancer Report says the same thing as it causes cancers of the digestive tract; and climate change proponents have been calling for reduction of livestock population. “During pandemics we run helter-skelter, looking for vaccines. We don’t question why over the last 30 years, there has been a new infectious disease outbreak every year, 60 per cent of them zoonotic. This is not because animals have suddenly turned virulent. It is because large animals are being bred in captivity in pathetic conditions, putting them in a position to transmit viruses that mutate easily. Then, it is also necessary to grain feed them, leading to deforestation, and thereon to food insecurity, cancer, cardiovascular diseases. This is the larger picture,” Dr. Reddy said.

Again, at a meeting held more recently at Kilpauk Medical College, there emerged more proof that the establishment was indeed worrying about the impact of climate change on health.

Corporation Health Officer P. Kuganantham said, “With global warming and climactic changes, coastal regions are likely to be affected more. With water levels predicted to rise, salinity of drinking water will also increase and directly impact on the health of the people. We are talking about hypertension and cardiac illnesses, here,” he added. But what is really bothering him is that the change of weather is likely to cause the proliferation of more numbers of vectors and rodents that are primarily disease carrying agents. “The infection they spread will be different, organisms will mutate, and our drugs may not work anymore,” Dr. Kuganantham explained.

Therefore, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases would be a great cause for concern for healthcare providers and policy makers. He stresses as Dr. Reddy does on addressing climate change and public health from the same platform.

“In fact, WHO even says that in future, policy makers and planners should keep public health experts at hand while developing strategies,” Dr. Kuganantham said. Going by what Mayor M.Subramaniam claimed, it seems that cognisant changes are afoot in the Corporation area. According to him, the civic body is trying to install solar lights wherever possible, and encouraging planting of more saplings to create green spaces and cyclist tracks.

Ramya Kannan From THE HINDU

Krishnagiri: Kodakarai lacks basic amenities

KODAKARAI (KRISHNAGIRI): A village with 500 families on a hillock on the Denkanikottai-Pettamukulalam route lacks basic amenities such as water, road connectivity and health facilities.

The worst affected are the pregnant women and the ailing people as they have to be carried for 9 km to reach the road. In the last one year, 11 children in the age group of 0 to 1 and seven in the age group of 1 to 5 died besides three pregnant women for want of medical facilities in Kodakarai. The nearest sub health centre is in Nemileri.

Attention please: An overhead water tank built six months ago remains idle for want of power connection in Kodakarai village in Denkanikottai taluk. — Photo: N. Bashkaran.

The villagers say that a Village Health Nurse is now visiting the village regularly due to the monitoring of the UNICEF and other non-governmental agencies.

Even to buy provisions, the villagers have to trek 9 km to take a bus to Pettamukulalam or Denkanikottai. A road that was recently laid at a cost of Rs. 40 lakh has vanished and it is very difficult to ride even a two-wheeler on the stretch.

Though a part-time ration shop is functioning in a building meant for sub health centre, the essentials are supplied only thrice a month. The villagers allege that the items are sold over and above the rate fixed by the government. The cardholders are paying Rs. 5 each for a truck load a month. There are 400 cardholders in the village. 

The two overhead tanks built by the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board in Kodakarai and Irular Colony are yet to be utilised as there is no power connection.

Though there are 30 children registered in the anganwadi centre in the village, only three are attending the centre regularly. With no transport facility, many children here could not continue their higher education.

Village head N. Rudrappa admits that child marriages are still performed in spite of awareness campaigns and strict warning by the district administration. Many senior citizens are yet to get pension and those who are getting the assistance are yet to get their share of 35 kg rice a month.

The villagers appealed to the district administration to provide the basic amenities immediately.

R. Arivanantham – From THE HINDU

EcoTourism-Finland to set up Innovation Centre in Delhi

Helsinki, Sep 11 (IANS) Out to prove that there’s more to Finnish technology than Nokia handphones, Finland is seeking collaborations with India in biotechnology and nanotechnology and will also set up a Finnish Innovation Centre in New Delhi.

The tiny but energy-efficient Scandinavian country also wants to work with India in healthcare, ecotourism and environment protection.

High-level delegations from the two countries will meet here in October to discuss plans for business and joint research and development. The Finnish delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Elina Kalkku.

“I can see a lot of future in the Indian market and we are looking forward to increasing research and development in sectors like science and technology, telecommunication, healthcare, ecotourism and clean technology,” Seppo I. Keranen, senior consultant, Finpro, told a group of visiting Indian journalists.

Finpro is an organisation under Finland’s Ministry of Employment and Finance. It has over 560 Finnish industries as its members.

Finland is also looking forward to setting up a Finnish Innovation Centre (called Finnote) in New Delhi by next year under a science and technology agreement signed between the two countries in 2008. Finland already has four such innovation centres in Japan, China, Russia and the US.

“Under the project we will put together researchers from both the countries and work jointly on developing new technology in various fields. The countries have great potential to work together and cater to third countries,” said Keranen, an expert on the Indian economy.

“India has highly technology-efficient people and we have high technology knowhow. So both the countries can work together in various sectors. India is a very important market for Finnish companies,” he said.

In healthcare, Finland has tied with India’s Department of Biotechnology to set up diagnostic centres in villages.

“We are in talks with some 10 healthcare companies in India to start telemedicine facilities for rural parts of India as providing better health facility continues to remain a key issue,” said Keranen, who worked as commercial counsellor at New Delhi’s Finnish embassy for five years.

Finland is also in talks with the Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments to start ecotourism in the states.

“The climate in northern hilly regions in India is more or less similar to that in

Finland. We are in talks with both the state governments to build ski resorts and energy efficient buildings as we have highly efficient technology that can keep buildings warm in even several degrees below zero,” Keranen said.

There are around 75 Finnish companies working in India while 29 Indian companies are active in Finland. The volume of business between the two countries is over $1 billion a year.

By Richa Sharma – richa.s@ians.in