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Kashmir floods: To prevent epidemic, Centre to send medical staff

Srinagar: The Centre on Sunday assured all medical help, including sending doctors and paramedic staff, to Jammu and Kashmir to prevent the outbreak of diseases in the flood-ravaged state.

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who toured the devastation-hit state and visited medical camps, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was personally monitoring the situation.

 Kashmir floods: To prevent epidemic, Centre to send medical staff

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan toured the flood-hit regions on Sunday. PTI

He said he had held meetings with Governor N N Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah besides officials to discuss the situation as there is fear of outbreak of measles.

"I assured them that we will provide the best possible help," he said.

On the requirement of the state for doctors and paramedical staff, Vardhan said he had told the Chief Minister that it will be met if a request is made with a detailed deployment plan.

When pointed out that the state health department had sought at least 300 paramedical staff, he told PTI, "we will meet all their needs. Our teams are ready and we can immediately send them."

While committing about the Centre's support, the Minister said there can be no better example than Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami being stationed here for the last six days and monitoring the relief operations.

Regretting the fact that many of doctors of Jammu and Kashmir government had still not reported for work, he said the state administration should deploy all its employees completely and "nobody should be allowed to take leave" in a situation like this.

"Local doctors should be in adequate numbers," he stressed.

Vardhan, a doctor himself, said people need to be educated to take ample care of their hygiene to avoid falling ill.

On incidents of stone-throwing by miscreants on relief suppliers in some areas, he said these are "sad" and "unfortunate" cases, and hailed the armed forces for the rescue and relief operations, saying their contribution will be "written with golden letters".

Vardhan also proposed that boats be mobilised to send medical supplies to people in inundated areas of Srinagar, a proposal which was backed by Governor Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

"The Chief Minister has directed his officials to mobilise available boats. Meanwhile, I am arranging for accelerating the supply side, especially in respect of doctors and health workers," he said, adding that the Centre had sent 80 women gynaecologists.

"People suffering from diabetes, hypertension among the cut off population need to be urgently given their doses of medicines. Only boats laden with such drugs can access such people," Vardhan said, according to a statement issued by the Union Health and Family Welfare in Delhi.

The Minister also asked state's health secretary and other officials to ensure disposal of carcasses lying around Srinagar and pointed out that a number of diseases could spread because of dead animals.

He also urged the officials to launch an information-education-communication-intervention offensive to make people aware of the need to boil water before drinking and observe other hygienic parameters.

"I have urged for central monitoring of the supply of filtered water. For people cut off, I have advised that chlorine tablets be supplied. Just one tablet dissolved in 20 litres of water after 30 minutes could safeguard people against water borne diseases," Harsh Vardhan said.

Vardhan also met the Home Secretary Anil Goswami, who is camping in Srinagar, and "discussed how best the relief work can be coordinated".

Accompanied by officials of his ministry, he visited the Hum Huma Relief Camp in Srinagar and inspected the 60-bed composite hospital run by the BSF. He also visited the Ada Sayad Memorial District Hospital in Budgam and the Army Base Hospital.

PTI

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Updated Date: Sep 15, 2014 07:35:44 IST