Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, J.P. Nadda, on Friday visited Kerala to review the relief and rescue measures. He was accompanied by Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health) and other senior officers from the ministry.
Nadda interacted with patients at Chalakkudy Taluk Hospital and visited the relief camps at VR Puram and Mullassery. To meet with the situation, 50 doctors have been kept on standby to be deputed in the affected areas at short notice. Twelve public health teams — each comprising of a Public Health specialist, Microbiologist and an entomologist – have been kept ready and 48 essential emergency drugs have been kept for immediate dispatch.
According to Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, on the request of the State Government, the first tranche of 48 essential emergency drugs, weighing about 73 MT, was airlifted by the Indian Air Force. This included one crore chlorine tablets which was augmented by another 1.25 crores of chlorine tablets (total 2.25 crores). Besides, 58 items of essential drugs including medicines for managing non-communicable diseases were delivered to the State. In the wake of increase in number of cases of Leptospirosis, Kerala has been provided with 18,00,000 capsules of Doxycycline-drug used for prophylaxis and treatment of leptospirosis.
In addition, 20 MT of bleaching powder was made available to the State, which was further scaled up by another 60 MT (total 80 MT). The ministry said that a request for the supply of four lakh sanitary napkins was received from the State which has been delivered at Trivandrum. Insecticides, larvicides and fogging machines too have been delivered to the State.
The ministry said that norms have been relaxed to provide an approval for additional Rs 18.71 crore to the State through National Health Mission (NHM).
A 40-member psycho-social team have been deployed from NIMHANS, Bengaluru, for rapid psycho-social assessment and community based Psycho-social care. These teams have so far sensitized 5353 volunteers on community-based psychosocial care; 65155 survivors of disaster have been supported through psychosocial first aid program; 17140 individual sessions and 2335 group sessions were carried out. 396 subjects were referred for psychiatric care/ psychological counselling to higher centres.
The Health Ministry said that 30 specialist doctors, 20 General Duty Medical Officers and 40 Malayalam speaking nurses too have been deployed to flood affected districts for providing medical care. These doctors are posted in Palakkad, Malappurum, Kozhikode and Ernakulum districts.