Amid ongoing heatwave in several states, a team of experts will visit Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to support these states in public health response measures to address heat-related illnesses.
Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday chaired a high level meeting related to public health preparedness for heat wave management across the country and directed that health experts from health ministry, ICMR, IMD and NDMA to visit these two states to address heat-related illnesses as these states are experiencing severe heat wave presently.
Underscoring the importance of sturdy and timely preparedness through awareness and early actions, Dr Mandaviya also directed ICMR to conduct research on how to minimise effect of heat wave on health, with specific short, medium and long term action plans.
He urged states and central agencies to enhance awareness among people regarding the preventive measures through multi-media IEC campaigns.
The Union Minister said that the Centre has taken timely measures ahead of the summer season to address the heat wave related illnesses. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also chaired a meeting to review preparedness ahead of the summer season March 2023, while the Union Health Ministry issued a heat wave advisory in February where States were advised to review health facility preparedness in terms of essential medicines, intravenous fluids, packs, ORS, drinking water as well as dissemination of necessary IEC materials, he said.
The health ministry had released National Action Plan on Heat related Illness in July 2021 that outlines Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for surveillance of heat stroke cases and deaths with preparedness plan before and during summer season. It also provides special emphasis on Heat Related Illness (HRI) in elderly, infants and children, pregnant women, outdoor and manual workers, and other vulnerable sections.
Sensitization of masses is important, but sensitization and capacity building of medical officers, health staff, and grass-root level workers on heat related illness, its early recognition and management is also important,” said Mr Mandaviya.