Share data on heatwave-linked hospitalisations and deaths, Centre tells States

Govt. points to lack of accurate information; urges States to take timely action on IMD alerts; Mandaviya calls for coordinated efforts by Centre and States

Published - June 21, 2023 08:07 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Patients suffering from symptoms akin to heat stroke being treated at the emergency ward of the district hospital in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, on June 20, 2023.

Patients suffering from symptoms akin to heat stroke being treated at the emergency ward of the district hospital in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, on June 20, 2023. | Photo Credit: SANDEEP SAXENA

The Health Ministry, on Wednesday, held another round of meeting – the second in two days – with officials of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Telangana, which are in the grip of severe heat wave conditions.

The Centre highlighted the lack of accurate information from the ground and urged the States to share field-level data on heatwave, including deaths and hospitalisations.  “This will help in making a realistic assessment of the situation,’’ said Union Minister of State for Home Affairs, Nityanand Rai, who participated in the meeting.

He added that that it is important to take timely action as soon as the States get alerts from the India Meteorological Department (IMD). “Timely, advance and wide awareness among the people on the preventive measures will hugely support in reducing the severe impact of such heatwaves,” he said.

Awareness campaigns

The States have also been asked to ramp up information and awareness campaigns and accelerate field-level implementation of State Action Plans for addressing ill-effects of heatwaves.

“India has demonstrated during the recent preparedness measures for Cyclone Biparjoy that timely and effective coordination between the Centre and the States can produce the desired outcome. Sharing of ideas, expertise and best practices by the States help in enriching everyone in effectively managing heat-related illness. Effective disaster response and management is a collaborative work. With coordinated actions between the Centre and States, we can surely ensure there are no deaths due to heatwaves,” said Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.

‘Ensure 24X7 power at health facilities’

The Centre urged the States to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply at health facilities. Steps should be taken to install solar panels and cool/green roof, window shading, shades etc. at these centres, it said.

The Minister said a granular status and an analysis of overall heatstroke cases and deaths in India and heat-related illness in the seven affected States was made by the Health Ministry officials covering the trajectory of total emergency OPD cases, suspected and confirmed heatstroke cases and deaths; and their reporting as per Integrated Health Information Platform portal.

It was pointed out that the National Action Plan on heat-related illness released in July 2021 outlined the challenges posed by heatwave, heat-related illnesses and their management from primary to tertiary level; the standard operating procedures for surveillance of heatstroke cases and deaths; and preparedness plan before and after; during summer season, with special emphasis on heat-related illness in vulnerable sections.

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