Special Correspondent

It will help to communicate outbreak of diseases

Computers have been sent to each of the hospitals and funds allotted for broadband connectivity

CHENNAI: Health Minister K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran on Friday inaugurated the online Emergency Disease Surveillance system, set up to facilitate almost immediate communication of outbreak of communicable diseases to the Health Department.

A total of 14 infectious conditions, including chikungunya, dengue, jaundice, polio and fever with cough, will be recorded by doctors in the outpatient unit of 385 block-level Primary Health Centres and 270 other government hospitals.

They will be accessed almost instantly by the central control at the Directorate of Public Health.

Computers have been sent to each of the hospitals and funds allotted for broadband connectivity from Patient Welfare Society funds.

In hospitals where there might be delay in getting broadband connection, doctors could use the services of an internet café and claim refunds, Director of Public Health P. Padmanabhan said.

Always on alert

Speaking to reporters after the inauguration, Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj said it was a way of keeping doctors alert all the time so that they could identify the trends and use the information to prevent the outbreak of epidemics.

It was the first and only such scheme in India. Mosquito and larval density monitoring information would also be available, he added.

Training programme

A training programme for doctors was also launched on Friday.

A total of 25 persons would be trained each day over a period of five days.

The Minister also released a training handbook on the occasion.

Response to SC verdict

In response to a question about the latest Supreme Court verdict allowing the students who had taken a professional course to be accommodated in government medical colleges, Mr.Ramachandran said the government would examine the situation and try to include these students in the second phase of counselling.