Azad calls for creating specialized public health cadres

     Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said it is necessary to establish a healthcare body with the help of well-trained people across the country to counter diseases like dengue, malaria, and H1N1. Azad was speaking at the inauguration of the 11th Conference of Central Council of Health and Family Welfare. He suggested creating specialized public health cadres for the disease prevention and management. He said controlling infectious disease like Malaria, TB (Tuberculosis) H1N1, measles, polio, chikungunya, dengue, et cetera, need qualified and well-trained public health personnel. A Directorate of Public Health should be established with people well-trained in laboratory practices, surveillance, outreach investigation, et cetera. Such a cadre must have personnel from the community level to state-level experts. Mr. Azad disclosed that the government had approved funds for prevention and control of cancer. "The government has recently approved the National Programme for prevention and control of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and stroke, which is to be launched in 100 districts in 23 States in its first phase for a total outlay of Rs. 1,200 crore (12 billion)," said Azad. He noted that in Kerala and Tamil Nadu states, the governments have demonstrated that it is possible to bring down IMR (Infant Mortality Rate), cases of MMR (Measles, Mumps And Rubella) and TFR (Total Fertility Rate). Azad later added that the Central Government would very shortly launch a scheme for the promotion of Menstrual Hygiene to ensure that adolescent girls in the age group of 10-19 years have adequate knowledge and information on it. Many scholars engaged in the area of public health and delivery of health services attended the conference along with the Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Chandigarh, Shivraj Patil.

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