High-Level Meeting Discusses Strategies and Collaboration

58
2
High-Level Meeting Discusses Strategies and Collaboration

Dengue Preparedness Meeting in India

Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda chaired a high-level meeting on July 10th, 2024, to discuss the dengue situation in India and the public health system's preparedness for prevention, containment, and management. The meeting was held in light of the monsoon season and the rising number of dengue cases globally.

Nadda was briefed on the nationwide dengue situation and the Ministry's preparedness. He was informed that the Dengue Case Fatality Rate has significantly decreased from 3.3% in 1996 to 0.1% in 2024 due to focused, timely, and collaborative efforts.

Recognizing the challenge posed by the monsoon season and the potential increase in dengue cases, Nadda emphasized the importance of preparedness. He directed officials to strengthen prevention, containment, and management measures against dengue, particularly in high-burden states and regions prone to outbreaks.

Nadda urged officials to work proactively with states to achieve tangible results in dengue prevention. He stressed the need for inter-ministerial convergence meetings involving the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Rural Development, Education Ministry, Municipal Corporations, and local self-governments to sensitize them on their roles and responsibilities in dengue prevention and control.

The Health Minister highlighted the importance of communication and awareness enhancement activities. He stated that awareness campaigns would be launched among school-going children and others to promote wearing clothes that cover the body fully and to keep water containers free of stagnant water, which is the breeding ground for the Aedes mosquito that transmits dengue. A nationwide IEC campaign will also be launched through TV, radio, and social media platforms.

Nadda directed officials to create a 24/7 central helpline number for dengue prevention and awareness, and to provide support for queries on symptoms, treatment protocols, and emergency situations. States were also advised to operationalize similar Helpline numbers.

The meeting was attended by senior officials from the Union Health Ministry, including Apurva Chandra, Union Health Secretary; Aradhana Patnaik, Addl. Secretary, Health Ministry; L S Changsan, Addl. Secretary, Health Ministry; Dr Atul Goel, DGHS; Vandana Jain, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry; Prof. M Srinivas, Director, AIIMS New Delhi; Dr. Sarita Beri, Director, Lady Hardinge Medical College; Dr. Vandana Talwar, Medical Superintendent, Safdarjung Hospital; Dr. Ajay Shukla, Medical Superintendent, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital; and Dr Tanu Jain, Director, NCVBDC, Health Ministry.