Wednesday, 19 June, 2024

Lawmakers call for developing mechanism against infectious diseases


Kathmandu, March 24: A sub-committee formed under the Education and Health Committee, House of Representatives has advised the government to prepare a mechanism at the province and federal-level to prevent and stem any sorts of pandemic and health crisis potential in the future.    

The government has been urged to bear in mind the possibility of an outbreak of pandemics in the days ahead and get ready to tackle the situation effectively.    

The sub-committee formed to monitor the government actions to respond to the COVID-19 crisis presented its report to the Committee, suggesting the establishment of a separate ward in every hospital to deal with infectious diseases.    

In the meeting held at the Singha Durbar today, sub-committee coordinator Jeevan Ram Shrestha handed the report to Committee president Jayapuri Gharti.    

According to Shrestha, the report was prepared after field monitoring and inspection of government efforts to control and mitigate the COVID-19 and it incorporates an 18-point suggestion to the government.     

The sub-committee has recommended putting oxygen plants in private and government hospitals, keeping them functioning round-the-clock, launching of a public awareness campaign against infectious diseases, improving the medicos promotion system to address the crisis of specialists, managing human resources at hospitals as per the quota and so on.    

The sub-committee has suggested making arrangement for a permanent health test centre for infectious diseases at open border areas and to bring a clear policy to run all hospitals and health centres under the federation, provinces and local levels.    

Provincial and district hospitals should be made well equipped by providing various services including ICU with ventilator, the capacity of all provincial hospitals should be developed in order to carry out treatment of all diseases as well as a separate budget should be provided for the treatment and management of infectious diseases and other health problems by making the prisons a livable and humane environment.    

Similarly, the sub-committee suggested to formulate and implement a medical fee policy by maintaining uniformity in treatment in private hospitals, to build the capacity of local levels as local levels would have more role during pandemic and disaster, and to bring a separate act regarding treatment, prevention and control of infectious diseases to pay attention of three-tier structures as the existing laws were not sufficient for it.    

The report also demanded to ensure the availability of vaccines as soon as possible by making the COVID-19 vaccine distribution programme simple and effective for the general public and to take a step for the adoption of necessary precautions as cases of coronavirus have again increased in the neighbouring country.    

A meeting of the Committee on August 25, 2020, constituted the sub-committee under Shrestha's convenorship to submit recommendations after monitoring and evaluating the works carried out by the government in connection with controlling the Coronavirus pandemic. The sub-committee started its works on August 28.    

It had held discussions with the concerned officials of the government hospitals, health institutions, private hospitals, quarantine and isolation facilities, laboratories related to COVID-19, related doctors, health workers, security persons, human resources involved in treating the corona virus-infected persons and the sides concerned. It also carried out an onsite visit to the hospitals, teaching hospitals, quarantine, isolation centres and prisons managed by the provincial governments as well as the district crisis management centres and COVID-dedicated hospitals in various districts.    

Committee calls the attention to government

Committee president Gharti said the government would be instructed for taking necessary measures after studying the report submitted by the sub-committee. The report has been provided to the Committee members for study.    

Speaking in the meeting, Committee members stressed the need for drawing the attention of the government for adopting alertness promptly as another wave of Coronavirus pandemic has started in several countries of the world including in India.    

Committee's members Gajendra Mahat and Hit Bahadur Tamang among others said high alertness should be adopted and necessary precautions are taken against COVID-19. However, it should not be taken as a terror. They called on the government to intensify the preparations for preventing the pandemic in the context of a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in India.    

The lawmakers underlined the need of spreading public awareness on preventive and precaution measures, of ensuring vaccination against COVID-19 to all the citizens and of immediately inoculating the frontliners and at-risk groups.