Photo: Hindustan Times
Photo: Hindustan Times

Central govt allots ₹18.7 crore more to flood-hit Kerala

Insecticides, larvicides and fogging machines have also been mobilized and delivered to the state,saidofficials

New Delhi: The Union health ministry has allocated an additional 18.71 crore to Kerala to tackle the health crisis in the flood-ravaged state by relaxing norms under the National Health Mission (NHM).

“The village health and sanitation committees envisaged under the National Health Mission are constituted by the state governments. Every such committee is entitled to an annual untied grant of 10,000, which could be used for any village level public health activity ranging from cleanliness and sanitation to school health activities," said Limatula Yaden, director at the department of health and family welfare.

The untied grant is aimed at enabling local action and ensuring that public health activities at the village-level receive attention. “We have released untied grant at the rate of 20,000 for Kerala. Going out of the way, we got an approval from the steering committee of additional amount of 18.71 crore for the state through NHM in line with its request," she said.

The additional allocation comes against the backdrop of Union minister for health and family welfare J.P. Nadda on Friday visiting the state and reviewing relief and rescue measures in a meeting with K.K. Shailaja, the state’s health minister, and state government officials.

“The health ministry is continuously monitoring the public health situation arising out of the floods in Kerala," said Nadda.

The minister visited the relief camps at V.R. Puram and Mullassery and assured of the centre’s support to the state. Fifty doctors are on standby for deputation to affected areas at short notice. Also, 12 public health teams, each consisting of a public health specialist, microbiologist and entomologist, are on standby.

As many as 48 essential emergency drugs have also been kept ready for immediate dispatch. The first tranche of these drugs, weighing about 73 tonnes, has been airlifted for the affected areas on the request of the state government. This includes 10 million chlorine tablets -- augmented by another 12.5 million tablets.

At the state’s request, 400,000 sanitary napkins were delivered to Trivandrum. Insecticides and larvicides and fogging machines were also delivered to the state.

On request, 58 items of essential drugs including drugs for managing non-communicable diseases in a consignment of about 120 tonnes were delivered to the state. In the wake of a rise in the number of cases of leptospirosis, Kerala has been provided with 1.8 million capsules of Doxycycline—a drug used for prophylaxis and treatment of leptospirosis.

The deluge last month triggered by torrential monsoon rains left a trail of destruction in the state and claimed 491 lives.