Union Health Minister Reviews States’ Preparedness for Vector-Borne Diseases Ahead of Monsoon Season


The Union Health Minister conducted a virtual review of the preparedness of states in preventing and controlling vector-borne diseases ahead of the monsoon season. The review focused on diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, Kala azar, and Japanese Encephalitis. The Chief Minister of Sikkim, Health Ministers from 22 states, Principal Secretaries (Health), Managing Directors of the National Health Mission, and senior officers from the states participated in the virtual meeting.

During the meeting, the importance of optimal utilization of budgets to invest in state health infrastructure was emphasized. It was reiterated that effective prevention measures lead to a decreased disease burden. The Health Minister urged the states to share their best practices and innovative public health measures in preventing and controlling vector breeding. The Minister also stressed the need for community mobilization, awareness creation, and community participation through behavioral campaigns and information education communication in villages, schools, and neighborhoods.

The states were advised to involve the Ayushman Bharat-Health & Wellness Centres for case notification, case management, and ensuring community engagement through information, education, and communication (IEC) and social mobilization campaigns. The Health Minister assured the timely availability and effective distribution of drugs, diagnostics, and any other required resources specified by the states. He commended various states that have notably reduced the burden of vector-borne diseases and achieved elimination in several districts.

During the meeting, states shared examples of special campaigns and initiatives undertaken to mobilize communities, raise awareness, and ensure timely surveillance and treatment.

Vector-borne diseases are categorized into six types, namely malaria, dengue, chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis, lymphatic filariasis, and Kala-Azar. These diseases are seasonal and outbreak-prone, with the exception of lymphatic filariasis, which tends to occur during the monsoon and post-monsoon period. The National Center for Vector Borne Diseases Control (NCVBDC) formulates policies and guidelines and provides technical and financial assistance to states and Union Territories for the prevention and control of these diseases, in accordance with the norms of the National Health Mission.

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