Union Health Minister JP Nadda on Friday emphasised the need for early preparedness to manage vector-borne diseases, saying that effective surveillance and monitoring was the key to success in combating such diseases.

Nadda also underscored the need to develop a special strategy and effective micro-plans for endemic districts and asked the health secretaries to personally monitor and guide state’s efforts, a health ministry statement stated.

The Union Health Minister was reviewing the status of vector-borne diseases and the preparation of states through video conference.

He interacted with principal health secretaries and mission directors of 20 endemic states          Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, UP and, West Bengal.

He urged the states to fill up vacant posts and, wherever necessary, re-deploy the human resources to endemic areas.

The advance review was done in view of the predicted upsurge of vector-borne diseases at the onset of monsoon.

Nadda reviewed the availability of diagnostic kits, drugs, testing labs, manpower and funds.

“Awareness is the key to prevention of many diseases,” he said, and stressed on the importance of conducting focused and intensive IEC campaigns and sustaining them through the season.

“The focus should be on active case finding for source identification and reduction of vectors. Adequate attention should be given to building sturdy surveillance systems,” Nadda said.

He stressed on the importance of coordination between different sectors in preventing as well as managing diseases such as dengue, malaria etc.

“Best practices from states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu can also be emulated,” Nadda said.

The Rural Development Ministry could also be approached for the construction of pucca houses under PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana) in Kala Azar endemic areas to effect reduction in breeding of sandflies, he said, and assured the states of all possible help from the Centre.