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Public Health / Sanitation

Coimbatore village to be adopted for zero-infant mortality project

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Source : The Hindu Date : 29.06.2009

Coimbatore village to be adopted for zero-infant mortality project

K.V. Prasad

Focus on preventing cases of pneumonia


4 lakh children died of pneumonia in India every year

Health cards to be provided to children

COIMBATORE: A pilot project to create zero infant mortality zones across the State will soon be launched in Coimbatore district.

On a call from the Department of Public Health in the State, the Indian Association of Paediatrics (IAP) will adopt a village in the district to make it free of infant mortality, with the primary focus on managing and preventing cases of pneumonia, Director of Public Health S. Elango said here on Sunday.

With primary focus on pneumonia as the prime cause of infant mortality, the project would concentrate on preventing other diseases that threatened the under five age group, Dr. Elango told presspersons on the sidelines of a Pneumococcal Disease Conference, organised by the Indian Chapter of the Asian Strategic Alliance for Pneumococcal Disease Prevention and the IAP.

“This is a partnership programme of the Government and the IAP in which doctors of private hospitals can also participate,” he said. Even private drug manufacturers and suppliers could join this project by providing medicines and vaccines free of cost.

A village with poor socio-economic conditions, probably of tribals, would be identified soon, Joint Director of Health M. Duraikannan said. Health cards would be provided to children. These would contain the family’s economic, social and health status.

After the village was identified, a list of the children in the paediatric age group would be prepared and their health condition monitored. Pointing out that malnutrition was one of the major factors causing pneumonia, Dr. Elango said women in the village would be educated on the importance of breastfeeding.

With the State government already improving the conditions at Primary Health Centres to reduce maternal and child mortality, safety through institutional delivery would be another area of sensitisation.

Pneumonia led to deaths owing to acute respiratory tract infection. Therefore, local village health nurses would be educated on managing such cases. They would also be trained to sensitise villagers to the need for vaccination, nutrition and also refer cases to hospitals.

Dr. Elango emphasised the need for a comprehensive programme against pneumonia by pointing out that the disease was the prime cause of deaths in South-East Asian countries. Four lakh children died in India every year, of which 10,000 were from Tamil Nadu. The death rate in the State was in one every 50 minutes. Low birth weight and malnutrition were some of the major factors. External factors were pollution at home, exposure to cigarette smoke and lack of protection from cold conditions.

The State government’s Integrated Management of Newborn Care programme focused on checking neo-natal deaths. Under this, doctors in 385 block primary health centres had been trained in emergency newborn care. The centres were provided with baby warmers and the 108 ambulance service rushed infants in trouble to the centres in 25 minutes.

With the Government improving the conditions, staff strength and introducing 24-hour service at 1,533 primary health centres across the State, institutional deliveries had increased from 81,000 in 2005-2006 to 2.6 lakh in 2008-2009. With a ‘zero vacancy objective,’ government counselling was being held once in two months for doctors to fill up vacancies in rural areas. One such session would be held on June 30 to appoint 400 doctors, Dr. Elango said.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2009 06:07

Proposal to tide over water crisis

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Source : The Hindu Date : 27.06.2009

Proposal to tide over water crisis

Staff Reporter

Nagercoil: The district administration would prevent human and animal waste from mixing with water bodies such as ponds, lakes and rivers, based on the assessment made by the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, the Public Works Department, panchayats and town panchayats, said Collector Rajendra Ratnoo.

Presiding over a district planning committee meeting here on Thursday, he said that a proposal of Rs1.53 crore to tide over the water crisis by fetching water from the Poigaidam to areas that fall under the Nagercoil municipality had been submitted to the State Government.

The project would be implemented with financial assistance from the NABARD. It would be implemented as soon as the Government approved the proposal. To stop the invasion of the animal into paddy fields and other farms along the dense forests, solar fences would be set up in this fiscal year. Funds for which had been already allotted by the Government.

The chairperson of district panchayat, Ajitha Mano Thankaraj, said that the structures that had been encroached upon near the Chittar Pattinamkal were being removed for the benefit of the farming community. Necessary steps had already been taken to distribute sports equipments to the people of in all panchayats and town panchayats. MP J. Helen Davidson and chairman of Nagercoil Municipal council, Revankil, participated.

Last Updated on Saturday, 27 June 2009 06:04

Corporation keen on tackling pig menace

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Source : The Hindu Date : 26.06.2009

Corporation keen on tackling pig menace

Special Correspondent

To move court for a directive: Corporation Commissioner T.T.Balsamy


Debate: Mayor S.Sujatha chairing a meeting of the Corporation Council in Tiruchi on Thursday.

TIRUCHI: The Tiruchi Corporation has planned to approach the courts to get a directive on tackling the health hazard posed by stray pigs in the city, said Corporation Commissioner T. T. Balsamy.

Since there is Supreme Court verdict against shooting down pigs, the Corporation has been hard-pressed to find a way out. Despite repeated warnings, people rearing pigs were not moving away from the city. There is no other option but to initiate criminal action against those rearing pigs in the interest of public health. “We have decided to take the issue to the court and explain the situation so that a suitable directive could be obtained,” Mr.Balsamy said responding to a flurry of complaints from councillors over the pig menace during an ordinary meeting of the Corporation Council here on Thursday.

The Commissioner said he has already held discussions with the government pleaders and hoped that the problem would be brought to an end soon. A section of the councillors also urged the Corporation to confiscate the stray cattle in the City.

Water source

The Commissioner dismissed fears expressed by the AIADMK floor leader J.Srinivasan over the dependability of the water source for the drinking water supply augmentation scheme being executed in the city. The sites for the collector wells of the scheme on the Coleroon River bed have been identified after extensive tests, he maintained. Once the scheme was implemented, equitable and abundant supply would be ensured to all parts of the city, he maintained. The meeting witnessed a brief exchange of heated words between the AIADMK and DMK councillors.

Earlier, Mayor S.Sujatha, who chaired her first meeting after assuming office, assured the councillors that she would work constructively to bring in more development schemes for the City in consultation with the elected representatives and residents organisations.

Responding to complaints about illegal pumping of water using motors by some residents in the city, Ms.Sujatha said a special drive would be taken up zone-wise to check the practice. Mr.Balsamy instructed the officials to form flying-squads to conduct surprise inspections to check the problem.

Solid Waste Management

An Integrated Solid Waste Management programme for the Tiruchi Corporation and the neighbouring municipalities of Manapparai, Thuvakudi and Kulithalai is likely to be implemented at an estimated cost of Rs.70.13 crores.

The cluster-based solid waste management project will be implemented through the Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Ltd., with World Bank assistance. The project is being implemented in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. The Tiruchi cluster has been selected for the project in Tamil Nadu, Corporation Commissioner T.T.Balsamy informed the Corporation Council on Thursday.

The Corporation could get a subsidy of up to 30 per cent of the project cost and it would have to contribute 10 per cent from its own funds. Sixty per cent of the project cost would be raised as loan. Alternatively, the project could also be implemented under the build, operate, own and transfer (BOOT) scheme, Mr.Balsamy said. He was speaking after a presentation on the project by the Community Consulting India Private Ltd, a consultant commissioned by the TNUIFSL to prepare the detailed project report.

The project seeks to adopt a regional landfill programme for the towns in the cluster and improve the solid waste handling and management in the urban local bodies. It would bring about a holistic approach to handle about 460 tonnes of solid wastes generated a day in the four local bodies. Of this, nearly 424 tonnes of solid wastes is being generated in Tiruchi city alone. According to consultants, nearly 78 per cent of the solid waste generated in the city could be converted into fertilizer (compost) and another 7.5 per cent could be recycled.

The project would seek to ensure 100 per cent source segregation (of degradable and non-degradable wastes), provision of collection bins at the households, standardised and synchronised transport of the collected waste, creation of an integrated waste management complex and marketing compost. Non-degradable wastes would be disposed through landfill. A waste processing facility would be established under the project besides a regional landfill facility.

Once executed, it would bring in a annual revenue of about Rs.17.93 crores through sale of compost, recycling and carbon credit, according to the project report.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 June 2009 10:06

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