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Health Minister Stresses on Proactive Measures to Contain Malaria And Dengue

‘Better Late than Never!’- is what everyone must be saying as a much delayed monsoon finally
starts hitting various states across India. While people are breathing a sigh of relief at the
welcome break from the heat, doctors are readying themselves for a horde of monsoon-related
ailments.

Monsoon is the time when instances of malaria and dengue go up. India’s Health Minister, Dr
Harsh Vardhan has asked all states to arm themselves against this on a ‘war footing’.

Dr Harsh Vardhan was at a meeting to discuss the measures taken in the National Capital
Region to combat monsoon diseases. He said many deaths happen every year because of this
menace but this tragedy can be easily prevented if every health official, from the junior to the
senior-most, actively sees to the implementation of the prevention protocol. He added, “Let us
make a new beginning. Let us not be complacent if the number of victims this year is less than
last year’s. We must aim for zero incidences within two to three years.”

This year, Delhi already witnessed 11 cases of malaria by June 30th. Last year, it had 353
reported cases in total. Last year also saw 48,346 cases in Uttar Pradesh while this year, there
have been 6473 cases until end of June. Close on the heels of malaria, dengue is also to be
feared this monsoon.

The Minister is confident that with proper preventive steps, over 80% of success rate is
attainable. He acknowledged the success of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in bringing down vector-
borne diseases with combined effort and community involvement.

He revealed his plans of sending central health officials to all the states of India where they can
meet their counterparts and take note of the health scenarios there. “There cannot be a ‘one-
size fits all’ policy. Each region is different and needs its unique solution. This will be discussed
in the CCH,” he said at the meeting which was attended by Narendra Singh (Health Minister of
Haryana), Rajendra Singh Rathore (Health Minister of Rajasthan), Najeeb Jung (Lieutenant-
Governor of Delhi), the Mayors of North and East Delhi along with senior officials of the Health
Ministry and state governments.

At the meeting, Mr Jung also mentioned that preventive measures were already being
implemented in Delhi. Awareness programs on dengue were underway with a poster drive in
educational centers and public places like markets, metro stations and bus stands. Hospitals
have been asked to have special wards ready for dengue patients.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan’s Principal Secretary of Health, Dr Deepak Upreti, who was also at the
meeting, suggested that in addition to Allopathy, the science of Ayurveda involving natural
ingredients should also be considered as it is very effective. Dr Harsh Vardhan admitted the
success of Ayurveda and assured all that the potential of treatments like Ayurveda, Unani,
Siddha and also Yoga would be tapped into and would collaborate with the available resources.

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