Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Monday flagged off 70 Information Education and Communication (IEC) Vans under his government’s flagship programme `Tandarust Punjab Sehat Muhim’, to enhance rural outreach.The unique statewide mass contact cum awareness programme would cover all 117 assembly constituencies across the state in an effort to create awareness about various diseases and their prevention through proper healthcare and diagnostic intervention.The Chief Minister, who was accompanied by Health Minister Brahm Mohindra, underscored his government’s focus on providing the best healthcare facilities to the people, reaching out more aggressively to those in rural areas and the remote Kandi and border areas. He asked the Health department to launch more such mass contact programmes in order to sensitize people towards preventive care.The Chief Minister also asked the Health Department to ensure uninterrupted supply of medicines by maintaining sufficient stocks in advance in all the villages where the vans had been pressed into service.The vehicles would cater to basic healthcare needs of the people residing across the state. While 13 Vans had being deployed in Majha region, 14 would operate in Doaba, 43 in Malwa region and 17 in the constituencies in border districts. The hi-tech vans, equipped with 42” LED Television screens, Public Address Systems and elevated platform as makeshift dais, would have experts interacting with the masses to educate them on health issues, besides showing awareness films.
The campaign is the biggest outreach activity of the department, initiated by National Health Mission with the support of different wings of Health & Family Welfare i.e. Directorate of Health Services, Ayurveda, Homeopathy, PHSC and PSACS. Officers of the level of District Family Welfare Officers/Senior Medical Officers of each district have been designated as Nodal Officers of Tandurust Punjab Sehat Muhim under the overall supervision of respective Civil Surgeons, the Health Minister informed Captain Amarinder.The Health Minister further disclosed that the vehicles would be flagged off in the field areas by concerned MLAs and Deputy Commissioners, who would review the progress of the campaign on daily basis, besides guiding the medical teams to ensure optimum utilization of this special health care programme. Each vehicle will cover minimum 8-10 locations per day and stop at the biggest village among these locations. Each district will have a detailed Micro-plan/ Route plan, along with the details and contact numbers of members of Medical Teams and other para medical/support staff members on duty, he said.The SMO in-charge of the block would be the Nodal Officer in his/her respective block and the Medical Officer in-charge of the area would be the Nodal Officer of each IEC Van in his/her area, for supervisING all local activities, including medical camps and RBSK teams.
Director Health Services Dr. Jaspal Kaur said basic Laboratory tests like (HB, BP, Random Blood Sugar, Blood Slide for MP, Sputum for AFB, Visual acuity, Near vision (RE/LE) will be conducted on the spot. Free medicines like Paracetamol, Antibiotics like Amoxycillin etc will be given to the patients. Those requiring further treatment shall be referred to the nearest Government health facility. A proper follow-up of the patients visiting camp shall be done.The monitoring and feedback mechanism about the movement of the vans and medical camps will be maintained online through specially devised software. A Control Room will monitor the day to day progress of these 70 vans and capture important data related to key parameters like number of OPDs, medicines, male/female, age, sex and number of people attending IEC/BCC activities. Each van shall have a visitor's book to take feedback/ comments from community members. The vans will also carry 35-40 different types of publicity material in the form of pamphlets, broachers, posters for distribution among the public.The launch event was attended, among others, by Member Parliament Gurdaspur Sunil Jakhar, Special Secretary Health cum Managing Director PHSC and National Health Mission Amit Kumar, Additional Health Secretary B Srini Vasan, Director ESI DR. Jagpal Bassi, and Director NHM Dr. Avneet Kaur and Chairman PHSC Amardeep Singh Cheema.