Center writes to states on daily surveillance on heat-related illnesses after rise in temperature

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Highlighting the rise in temperatures that has already touched unusual high at some places in the country and substantial deviations from expected normal temperatures for this time of the year, the health ministry has said that dally surveillance on heat-related illnesses under National Programme on Climate Change and Human Health (NPCCHH) in all states and districts will be conducted on Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) from 1st March, 2023.

In a letter to Chief Secretary of states and UTs, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan has said to ensure that all the health facilities participate using existing P-form level login information and continue to keep line lists of cases and deaths as per the prescribed formats.

“I draw your attention to ‘National Action Plan on Heat Related Illnesses’ and would request you to disseminate this guidance document to all districts within your State for effective preparedness of health department and health facilities to address heat impact and management of cases arising because of it, record maintenance and surveillance etc”, Bhushan said in the letter.

He has said to ensure implementation of Heat-related Health action plans and support in planning, managing and assessing response to heat along with responding agencies.

The letter reads, “Health Departments of the State must continue efforts on sensitization and capacity building of medical officers, health staff, grass-root level workers on heat illness, its early recognition and management. Training manuals developed by NCDC on these subjects are available and may be used for such trainings”.

The ministry has also asked to ensure essential medicines, intravenous fluids, ice packs, ORS and all necessary equipments. Health Facilities need to increase resilience to extreme heat by arranging uninterrupted electricity for constant functioning of cooling appliances, installation of solar panels  window shades, shade outside etc, the ministry has asked states in the letter.