Organisers strictly told not to conduct any immunisation during camps

The Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine has come out with a set of norms that should be followed by organisers of free medical camps under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Code and Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939.

These norms have been framed to prevent causalities in poorly-organised and illegal medical camps besides to ensure that high medical standards were maintained in all such programmes, Deputy Director of Health Services R. Damodharan told The Hindu, here on Wednesday.

‘No-Objection Certificates’ (NOC) under these rules have been made mandatory and were being issued in the city in recent weeks.

Among the major conditions imposed was the ban on administering any kind of immunisation during these camps without the requisite permission. This would ensure that only potent vaccine was administered.

Invasive procedures such as administering injections, performing operations or therapeutic/diagnostic interventions have also been strictly prohibited.

Such camps should be confined only to general health check-ups and specialty check-ups for screening and investigations.

The drinking water supplied to the camp must be chlorinated and have a residual chlorine value of exactly 0.5 ppm (particles per million). The guidelines of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board must be followed while disposing of the medical wastes generated during the camp, he said.

Besides calling for adherence to all ethical procedures, Dr. Damodharan said that the organisers have also been told that they would be solely responsible for payment of compensation in case of any “functional negligence” during the camp.

The norms also state that adequate ventilation and drainage must be provided.

The use of plastic and disposable plastic cups has been banned from the camps. Fire safety measures must also be strictly implemented.

Legal action

The Deputy Director warned of stringent legal action against those found violating these norms. Police permission was also needed for these camps.