The district health administration, in association with the water and sanitation management departments, will launch integrated measures to ensure that clean and safe water is available to the public and that water-borne infections are kept under check.

The district health officials met the District Collector the other day and discussed the precautionary measures which have to be adopted by the Health and related departments to ensure that the incidence of water-borne diseases are prevented.

Inspections

“We have issued a directive to all medical officers as well as the health supervisors and health inspectors to create awareness among the public of the danger of water-borne diseases and to take necessary precautionary measures to ensure water safety. Health inspectors have been asked to inspect water sources and tanker lorries supplying drinking water regularly for quality and to send water samples for testing. They have also been asked to check out eateries, hotels and fast-food joints, especially those around educational institutions, to ensure that hygiene standards are maintained,” B. Unnikrishnan, district programme manager, National Rural Health Mission, said.

Awareness campaigns would specifically focus on the precautions to be adopted when feasts or community feeding was organised in connection with marriages or social functions, as careless handling of food or water during such events could result in episodes of mass food poisoning, T. Peethambaran, district medical officer, said.

The health department field staff have been directed to be vigilant about detecting and reporting early, any warning signals about infection outbreaks such as diarrhoea, typhoid or cholera as early reporting can speed up control measures.

Treatment protocols

All medical and paramedical staff will also be sensitised by the Health department to the standard protocols to be followed in case of treating major water/food-borne infections such as cholera or hepatitis.