Special Correspondent

Health Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu submit memorandum to Anbumani

  • Ministers seek Centre's help to implement joint action plan
  • Want more diagnostic facilities
  • Suggest recruiting one health worker for every 5000 population

    NEW DELHI: Four chikungunya-affected States have sought aid to the tune of Rs. 92 crore from the Union Government to tackle the epidemic.

    The Health Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu met Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss on Tuesday and submitted a memorandum, seeking the Centre's help and financial support to implement a joint action plan.

    The Ministers, K. Rosaiah (Andhra Pradesh), R.Ashok (Karnataka), Ranjit Kambli (Maharashtra) and K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran (Tamil Nadu), said their States had been experiencing the epidemic since December last.

    Andhra Pradesh had 69,477 suspected cases as on July 28, Karnataka 6,64,129 suspected cases (until August 5), Maharashtra 2,14,079 (July 21) and Tamil Nadu 45,168 (July 28).

    Coordination committee

    The joint action plan, evolved at a conference of Health Ministers in Bangalore last month, envisages the setting up of an inter-State border coordination committee, identifying nodal officers and forming micro-level task forces, establishing sentinel surveillance sites, diagnostic and treatment facilities and notifying across borders all clinically suspected, diagnosed and treated cases.

    The meeting stressed the need for easy access to essential drugs, treatment and management of cases across the border and setting up additional fever treatment depots and drug distribution centres.

    Manpower needed

    The delegation pointed out that though Chikungunya was a mosquito-borne disease, it was not included in the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme. Also, additional diagnostic facilities were required to bear the load of blood samples for getting a correct epidemiological picture of the viral disease.

    While pointing out that the disease had attained epidemic proportions and needed to be tackled on a war footing, the memorandum said enormous manpower was required to implement the control activities at the micro-level.

    The memorandum suggested recruitment of at least one health worker for every 5,000 population. Based on this, Karnataka needs 10,000 workers, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu 12,000 each and Maharashtra close to 20,000.