Landowners to face action for mosquito menace

Measures to check infectious diseases during the monsoon are in full swing in the State, Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar said here on Monday.

He was speaking after reviewing the disease-control measures in the districts after a videoconference with the District Collectors and the District Medical Officers.

Mr. Sivakumar said the Collectors had been asked to enforce the Public Health Act strictly and initiate legal measures against the owners of land which offered favourable conditions for mosquitoes to breed and posed a threat to public health.

Action would be taken against the owners of rubber estates where coconut shells used for tapping had been kept open without rain-guard, allowing mosquitoes to breed in the water collected in them.

He said the working hours of primary health centres would be extended in areas where more fever cases were being reported. The Minister directed the District Collectors to coordinate the activities of the departments and take up preventive measures in a time-bound manner.

Protocol

Doctors in government and private hospitals in the State would be trained in the treatment of short febrile illnesses or viral fevers following the established disease management protocol published by the Health Department on Monday. Mr. Sivakumar said clear guidelines would be issued to government and private hospitals for patient management so that tertiary-care institutions such as the medical college hospitals were not swamped with patients. Drugs and manpower were not in short supply anywhere, and preventive and control measures were being carried out intensively in four southern districts where more dengue cases were being reported. The Health Department had allocated an additional Rs. 7 lakh each to the districts for intensive disease-control measures.

He said the government had posted 269 additional staff to the medical colleges and 90 to Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta districts for the next four months. As many as 1,902 employees had been temporarily taken in for disease-control activities across the State. For Kasaragod, 40 doctors had been posted on contract through the National Rural Health Mission.

He said the Ministers in charge of the districts would convene district-level review meetings and regularly assess the situation.

The Idukki district meeting was convened by Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph on Monday.

The Kottayam district review meeting would be convened by Finance Minister K.M. Mani on Tuesday. The MLAs had been asked to convene meetings in their respective Assembly constituencies before June 10 and coordinate disease-prevention activities.

Health Secretary Rajeev Sadanandan, Director of Health Services P.K. Jameela and senior health officials participated in the videoconference.