Needs of all local bodies taken into account

The draft document of the Comprehensive Health Plan for the district for the next five years, an initiative spearheaded by the Health Department and the National Rural Health Mission, in coordination with various other government departments, local self governments and agencies, was released by Health Minister Adoor Prakash here on Wednesday.

The first copy of the draft plan was handed over to district panchayat president Remani P. Nair.

A first-of-its-kind initiative in the country, the comprehensive health plan is an attempt to look at health issues in a holistic perspective, by giving more attention to the social determinants of health such as safe drinking water, sanitation, environment, women's empowerment and so on.

The key principle behind the preparation of this decentralised plan for the State's health sector is the realisation that people's participation, local relevance and the integration of the functioning of various departments are very crucial for developing region-specific and creative health plans, which can be implemented.

The draft health plan for the district has been prepared taking into account the requirements of each ward, panchayat and block up till the district-level.

The plan includes 1,023 projects, out of which 588 are projects to be implemented directly by the Health Department while the rest are in health-related sectors, which are to be taken up with inter-department coordination.

As per the draft proposal, the estimated budgetary requirement for carrying out these projects for the next five years in the district would come to nearly Rs.235 crore.

The health and related projects envisaged for the district covers various areas such as prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, palliative care, setting up toilet facilities in schools, school health plan, anaemia control among youngsters and pregnant mothers, provision of safe drinking water, creating avenues for physical activity, mosquito and rodent control and so on.

The various district-level health plans are to be coordinated to make up the State's Comprehensive Health Plan for the next five years, which would go into the proposals for the 12 Five Year Plan.

Health Minister Adoor Prakash, while releasing the district's draft plan, said that Kerala was the first State to think about a comprehensive approach towards the health sector and that the initiative was something worthy of emulation for the rest of the country.

District Medical Officer T. Peethambaran, District Programme Manager of NRHM B. Unnikrishnan and other senior Health officials were present on the occasion.