Staff Reporter

ALAPPUZHA: A two-day seminar that will examine the lessons in public healthcare put forth by the ‘Nammude Gramam Arogya Gramam' project of the Muhamma grama panchayat began here on Monday.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, inaugurating the seminar, said the seminar and the project as a whole, were significant in the present context where many diseases, which were hitherto considered extinct, were making a comeback. The chikungunya outbreak in the State a couple of years ago had exposed several shortcomings in the State's healthcare system and the lessons learnt from the experience were now being put into practice.

MCH upgraded

The government was addressing staff and drug shortage issues in public health institutions and appropriately, the Community Medicine wing at the Alappuzha Medical College was upgraded to national standards, he said.

Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac presided over the function, which also witnessed the inaugural of an exhibition that will be held alongside the seminar.

R. Nazar, district panchayat president, P. Venugopal, District Collector, Kerala University former Vice-Chancellor B. Ekbal and others were present.

The seminar, which began with a discussion on the challenges faced by the State's health sector, also had discussions on the healthcare examples set by Muhamma grama panchayat, led by panchayat president C.K. Bhaskaran and Sairu Philip, professor, Community Medicine wing, Alappuzha Medical College.

Parallel sessions on pain and palliative care, the best-performing local governing bodies in the health sector, lifestyle diseases, women's health issues, work-related health hazards and public interventions in healthcare were also held on Monday.