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Union Health Minister Chairs Meeting to Review Public Health Preparedness for Heatwaves

New Delhi: Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, led a comprehensive discussion today on enhancing public health preparedness to tackle heat-related illnesses as the summer months approach. The meeting, attended by key officials including Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar, Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, and Dr. V K Paul, Member (Health) of NITI Aayog, emphasized the importance of proactive measures and collaborative efforts in mitigating the impact of heatwaves.

Dr. Mandaviya stressed the critical need for raising awareness among the public about preventive measures to manage heat-related illnesses effectively. He highlighted the significance of creating a central database to collate accurate field-level data from states, enabling a realistic assessment of the situation. Emphasizing timely action upon receiving alerts from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), he underscored the importance of coordinated efforts at the state and district levels.

Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar advocated for the formation of state-level and district-level committees to spearhead information and awareness campaigns. She emphasized the necessity of equipping health facilities with essential amenities such as water coolers and ice packs to address heat-related illnesses promptly. Dr. Pawar also urged states to expedite the implementation of State Action Plans tailored to tackle the adverse effects of heatwaves.

Dr. V K Paul highlighted the importance of adherence to guidelines and protocols at the state level, urging the dissemination of treatment protocols through various channels, including webinars. He emphasized the need for creating a repository of data on heat-related cases and illnesses to facilitate informed decision-making.

Officials from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) provided insights into heatstroke forecasting, climatology, and vulnerable zones in India. They highlighted the importance of updating Heat Action Plans and conducting awareness campaigns in high-risk areas.

The meeting also reviewed the recent advisory issued by the Union Health Secretary to Chief Secretaries, urging compliance with the National Action Plan on Heat-Related Illnesses. States were advised to assess health facility preparedness and implement necessary measures to address heat impacts effectively.

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