State plans door-to-door health awareness drive

 The health department will take up a door-to-door awareness drive on cleanliness and communicable diseases prevalent during summer across the State from the first week of May, Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader announced in Bangalore on Monday.

Briefing reporters after a meeting with officials of the health department, Khader said the drive would be spread across 10 days and will be held in two phases. Efforts would be made to reach each and every household in the State. Staff of public health centres, representatives of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), gram panchayat members and other representatives of local bodies would be involved in the drive, he said. 

Khader said the rural development and panchayat raj department, besides the urban development department, will be roped in to take steps to keep the environment clean and ensure there is no water logging that could breed mosquitoes.He said there was no shortage of vaccines for monkey fever (Kyasanur forest disease).

 The disease is especially prevalent in Shimoga and the surrounding districts.
 A committee has been constituted to see whether the present restriction of not vaccinating those below five years and those above 60 years could be lifted.

He said the government is committed to implementing its budgetary promise of supplying 35 lakh sanitary napkins to girl students. There was a communication gap between the health department and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan on who should be distributing the napkins. The issue would be sorted out soon, he said.

Doctors recruitment

Khader said the government will commence the process of recruiting 336 MBBS doctors and 1,500 specialists soon. In the meantime, to make up for the shortage, it will invite private practioneers to enlist with government hospitals. A doctor who puts in two days a week in the OPD of a government hospital will be paid a reimbursement of Rs 8,000 per month.

Specialists would be paid on a case-by-case basis for their services including performing caesarean procedures, surgeries, administering anaesthesia among others.

The government will appointment specialist pediatricians in Koppal which has reported a high number of malnutrition cases among children. The pediatrician will be paid Rs 1.25 lakh per month, Khader said.

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