Dehradun. On 29th December 2021, Uttarakhand state health department had a key meeting with officials from National Centre for Disease Control, Government of India and officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) India office.
The meeting was held in chairmanship of Secretary Health (Government of Uttarakhand) and in the presence of Secretary, Disaster Management (Government of Uttarakhand) to strengthen capacity to detect, mitigate and respond to public health emergencies. While addressing the meeting, Health Secretary Dr. Pankaj Kumar Pandey emphasized Uttarakhand state is always vulnerable to various kinds of natural calamities like landslides, floods, earthquakes etc. The calamities may cause various kinds of public health emergencies of concern like epidemic prone infectious diseases, water-borne, and vector-borne diseases etc.
Dr. Pandey addressed that the collaboration with National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi, Government of India, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) is beneficial to deal with the above challenges. In that regard, a decision to establish a Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC)to detect, prevent and respond to infectious and disaster-borne diseases in the state, was taken. Secretary Health also informed that the health workers working on the front line in the state and community would also be trained in Public Health Emergency Management (PHEM).
Secretary Disaster Management Shri S.A. Murugesan confirmed State Disaster Management Authority’s cooperation in setting up the PHEOC and in providing training on PHEM to the community.
Dr. Sujeet Singh, Director of National Center for Disease Control, Delhi (Government of India) and Dr. Rajeev Sharma, EM-Lead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assured to provide support in establishment, technical handholding, capacity buildings for the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre and PHEM related capacity building in the state.
In the meeting, Dr Tripti Bahuguna Director General, Medical Health and Family Welfare, Uttarakhand, Dr Pankaj Singh, Officer-in-Charge IDSP, and Dr.Mahendra Pant from H.N.B. medical University were also present.