Officials from seven districts of TN will attend the meeting on March 21

A meeting of public health officials, from all the border districts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, will be held in Palakkad on March 21 to discuss strategies to prevent cross-border disease transmission. Public Health officials from the seven Tamil Nadu districts will attend the meeting.

Strategies to control the spread of communicable diseases across a border that sees a substantial movement of pilgrims, tourists and migrant workers would be discussed, Deputy Director of Health Services R. Damodharan, told The Hindu, here on Sunday.

Expeditious exchange of information was vital to tackle vector borne diseases as it would enable the Health officials to prevent an outbreak from becoming an epidemic.

The officials would also devise strategies to prevent vector breeding sources close to the border besides tackling transmission of the diseases by human beings. Besides focusing on sanitation in the routes followed by pilgrims, the Health officials would also focus on ensuring that migrant worker’s settlements had safe drinking water, and sanitary conditions for food preparation, he said. Also, there was an immense amount of food products that are being taken across the borders. “This meet will discuss ways for officials, from the Medical Officer of a Primary Health Centre to the Deputy Director, to liaise directly with their counterparts across the border.

“In all positive cases, we will exchange details about the patient, including the travel pattern and medical history, to provide treatment.”

The entomologists and District Malaria Officers of these border districts would also coordinate.

The seven districts from Tamil Nadu participating in the Palakkad meeting are The Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Dindigul, Theni, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. While a similar meeting of all the top Health officials from Tamil Nadu and Kerala was held in September last year, this meeting was for field-level officers.

With Coimbatore being the only district to have an international airport, he said significant emphasis was being placed to prevent transmission of diseases from foreign countries into the two States, he added.