Andhra Pradesh government mulls drones in war against mosquitoes

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The state government is seriously contemplating using drones in its war against the mosquito menace. Drones will be used to spray anti-mosquito chemicals in the vulnerable places such as corners of drains. The health department is of the view that deployment of drones could be effective as they could cover wider areas in spraying. The department is also studying feasibility of using drones in fogging operations.

The issue was discussed threadbare at a high-level meeting held at secretariat in Velagapudi on Monday. The review meeting, chaired by health minister Kamineni Srinivas, started at 10 am and continued till 11.30 late in the night.

Giving out details of the meeting here on Tuesday, Srinivas said that the health department would first seek government’s permission for usage of drones in anti-mosquito operations. Since the issue needs further deliberations, the department would take a formal decision after considering the views of experts, the minister said.

He said dialysis units would be set up at the existing primary health centres at Hindupur, Narsipatnam, Nandyal and Chirala. A programme called Swasthya vidya vahini (SVV) involving nearly 45,000 medical students would be launched across the state on Nov 1. He said that NTR university of health sciences authorities were directed to make arrangements for the launch of the biggest health awareness programme involving medical students. “Students from MBBS, PG medical courses and nursing stream will also participate in the programme aimed at making the state clean and hygienic,” Srinivas said.

Srinivas said the students would visit villages to create awareness among the people about individual cleanliness, keeping the surroundings clean, lifestyle diseases and dietary precautions to be followed by each and every individual to keep themselves healthy. The students would visit schools and colleges to inculcate healthy habits among children. The department would spare nearly 275 vehicles for organising the SVV programme in which the local health department staff and women from self-help groups would take part.

The minister said that they were seriously planning to introduce a universal health insurance scheme to cover the entire population of the state under the Health for all scheme. He said the department would soon launch about 100 generic drug stores in towns. About 32 vehicles would be allocated to blood banks in the state. The state government would also provide free screening for seven types of cancers for women in the state.

Advisor to the government Jitender Sharma, NTR health university vice-chancellor Dr T Ravi Raju, principal secretary, health, Poonam Malakondaiah, commissioner, family welfare, Samuel, APMIDC managing director Gopinath, NTR arogya seva CEO Ravisankar Ayyanar and director, health, Aruna were present at the meeting.

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