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Harsh Vardhan assures J&K of help to prevent epidemics

Srinagar: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan Sunday assured Jammu and Kashmir health authorities of assistance to tackle any possible epidemic following the recent floods in the state while also suggesting floating clinics.

He met Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and undertook a detailed review of the health-related relief measures and other healthcare facilities, according to an official statement.

 floods in Jammu and Kashmirh Houses affected by floods in Jammu and Kashmir

Abdullah sought central assistance to restore health infrastructure affected by floods and also to carry out an extensive measles vaccination programme for the vulnerable age group of 0-15 years.

He said that almost 50 lakh chlorine tablets have been received in the state and mobile purification plants are providing safe drinking water to the people.

The chief minister said the authorities have been directed to press into service more pumps for de-watering the flooded areas and to take apt measures to check any epidemic outbreak.

The statement added that Harsh Vardhan was also informed that emergency medicine supplies have been dispatched to various district hospitals.

The minister asked the state health authorities to rush medical teams to various affected areas so that healthcare facilities are provided to the needy.

He said it is important to inform people about the water purification methods and other vaccinations to check diseases.

The statement said: "The health minister has proposed that boats be mobilised to send medical supplies to people in the inundated areas of Srinagar who find it impossible to venture out of their homes."

Harsh Vardhan said that Abdullah received his proposal positively.

"The chief minister has directed officials to mobilise available boats. Meanwhile, I am trying to accelerate the supply side, especially in respect of doctors and health workers," he said.

"People suffering from diabetes and hypertension need to urgently get their medicines," the minister said.

He urged the state's health secretary and other officials to dispose of the carcasses lying around Srinagar, and that an information-education-communication intervention be launched to tell people to boil water before drinking.

A home ministry statement said the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is working to prevent water-borne diseases like diarrhoea from spreading in Srinagar.

"The NDRF has established five medical camps in waterlogged areas of Srinagar to provide healthcare facilities to the people," it said.

Health ministry officials added the central government has also sent 80 women gynaecologists.

"There are a large number of doctors from Delhi's central government hospitals who have rushed here. I can't muster enough words in their praise," Harsh Vardhan said.

The minister visited the hospital run by the Border Security Force.

He Saturday visited the affected areas of Jammu and Poonch.

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