Health minister reviews Public Health Preparedness for heat-related illnesses

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AIIMS Liverpool Collaborative Centre for Translational Research

As temperature has started soaring with the onset of summer, union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday chaired a meeting to review public health preparedness for management of heat related illness and called for efforts towards generating awareness. He advised officials to meet with states for better coordination and understanding, highlighting the importance of collaborative efforts in efficient management of heat-related illnesses.

Highlighting the lack of accurate data from the ground, Dr Mandaviya noted the importance of creating a central database with inputs from states to share field level data on heatwaves, including on deaths and cases, so that a realistic assessment of the situation can be made. He also highlighted the importance of timely action as soon as IMD alerts are received in the states. He said continuous efforts towards generating awareness for people for better management of heatwaves is necessary as effective address leads to effective management.

A granular status and analysis of overall heatstroke forecasting, pattern, climatology and vulnerable zones in India and most prone areas of increased heat wave in India was made by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) officials covering the trajectory of rainfall patterns, humidity and forecast of transition from El Nino to ENSO. It was pointed out that the Heat Action Plans have been updated in 23 states while around 100 districts have their action campaign on heatwave awareness generation. SOPs for surveillance of heat stroke cases and deaths; and preparedness plan before & during summer season, with special emphasis on Heat Related Illness (HRI) in vulnerable sections.