Epidemic Control

Introduction

Epidemic branch at the Commissionerate of Health deals with Communicable Diseases, i.e. Waterborne Diseases such as Cholera, Gastroenteritis, Typhoid and Infective Hepatitis, Zoonotic Diseases like, Plague and Leptospirosis,CCHF. Arthropod borne diseases like, Viral Encephalitis, Air Borne Disease like Meningococcal Meningitis, Influenza-A (H1N1) and provides health relief services in the wake of natural calamities like heavy rain, floods, drought, cyclone, chemical & biological disasters etc. to prevent post calamity disease outbreak. Epidemic Branch monitors the current epidemic situation in the State and feedback is given on the reports received. Necessary help is provided in the form of technical, financial, material and manpower as and when required.

Deputy Director (Epidemic) and staff of Epidemic Branch also undertake State Level Investigations and Management of major outbreaks & events for prevention of transmission of Zoonotic infections amongst Human population and inter-departmental coordination activities with water supply dept. Local civic bodies, Animal Husbandry and Agriculture Dept, NIOH, NICD, Director EMR (DGHS New Delhi), GSDMA.

Besides that overall coordination, preparedness aspects, capacity building and trainings in related subjects and documentation of action plans etc of disaster and provision of emergency health services to affected population due to natural disasters like flood, heavy rain, draught, cyclone, earthquake, are being done year to year.

This branch also deals with Health & Sanitation Management in Disaster situations like flood, heavy rain, drought, earth quack, cyclone, terrorism etc. Action Plan for Biological Disaster, as a guide to district level health officials and Superintendent of General Hospitals to help in efficient management of crises situation.

Epidemic branch is also monitoring the activities in health institutions under Nirmal Gujarat Abhiyan of Health & Family Welfare Department.

A meeting of epidemic medical officers of the districts is regularly to review Epidemiological situation of communicable diseases along with monitoring of stock position of anti epidemic medicine and chlorinating agents at district, regional and state level for effective feedback.

Actions are initiated to issue instructions by Commissioner Health to District Development Officers, Director, Municipalities, Member Secretary, Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board for regular chlorination of drinking water sources detection of leakage and their prompt repairs and efficient managements of sewerage disposal.

Actions are initiated to organize inter-sectoral meetings under the Chairmanship of Additional Chief Secretary Health and Family Welfare Department and attended by representative of Urban Development, Panchayat and rural housing, Rural Development Department, Development Commissioner, Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board, Director, Municipalities for discussion and necessary actions required to be taken at their level for prevention and control of waterborne diseases.

Regional meeting of Presidents and Chief Officers of Municipalities in the presence of Director Municipalities are organized for discussion and necessary action required to be taken their level for prevention and control of waterborne diseases.

With the onset of monsoon, control rooms are established at Districts, Regional and State level for prompt notification and rapid response in wake of outbreak of any epidemic prone disease & in any disaster natural or man-made. Officers are deputed to co-operate in the State control room of Revenue department at new Sachivalaya, Gandhinagar. Epidemic branch has prepared Disaster Management manual.

Anti Plague surveillance activities are continued through Surat Municipal Corporation unit and mobile epidemic control unit Surat with assistance from National Institute for Communicable Diseases New Delhi and Bangalore unit.

Mobile Epidemiological Surveillance and containment team established in Surat for surveillance of Communicable Diseases including Zoonotic Disease e.g. Leptospirosis. The team is provided classroom and field training at N.I.C.D., Bangalore and by inviting team from N.I.C.D., Bangalore at Surat for field training and file practice.

The branch is carrying out National Surveillance Programme for Yaws Eradication Programme along with routine Communicable Disease Surveillance & monitoring activities.

Meningococcal vaccines for Haj pilgrims are procured from NICD Delhi and distributed to district by this branch every year.

Gujarat is the first state in the country to implement sickle Cell Anemia Control Programme in existing health facility. Sickle Cell Anemia Screening is carried out in tribal population of 12 tribal districts, viz. Valsad, Tapi, Navsari, Dang, Surat, Panchmahal, Dahod, Bharuch, Narmada, Vadodara, Sabarkantha & Banaskantha. Gujarat Sickle Cell Anemia Control Society is formed in 2011 to integrate all the activities done by different department under one umbrella. Society has decided to complete the screening of entire tribal population in next three years, for which screening has been outsourced to 7 different private agency/NGOs in 2012. Before outsourcing about 3.5 to 4 lakhs population was screened per year but after outsourcing more than 18 lakhs populations have screened.

Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP)

The Government of India has started a decentralized, state based Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) in year 2005-06 in response to a long felt need expressed by various expert committees. IDSP (Phase I) was launched by Govt. of India in Nov 2004. Gujarat state was included in phase II of the project and IDSP had been launched in Gujarat on 8th Nov 2005.

The disease surveillance system which was started in Kutch district after the earthquake (2001) was later expanded to cover entire state with the help of GOG and EC. Government of India launched Integrated Diseases Surveillance Programme on 8th November 2005. The Gujarat State is front runner in implementation of IDSP. Analysis of weekly surveillance data on regular basis, providing feedback to reporting units and early & timely initiation of appropriate actions by reporting units has led to containment of diseases ultimately reducing mortality and morbidity. Before the IDSP was established, the disease surveillance data was being reported on monthly basis.

The mortality and morbidity due to communicable diseases have drastically reduced in Gujarat state over last few years. This is evident from the weekly surveillance data collected, compiled and analyzed under Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme implemented in the state since 2003.

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