According to the Health Ministry, health facilities must improve their resilience to extreme heat by ensuring constant electricity for cooling appliances, installing solar panels (where feasible), and taking measures to reduce indoor heat through cool/green roofs, window shades, and shade outside, among other things.
The Ministry has written to all stakeholders, advising them to examine their health facility’s preparedness for the availability of enough quantities of vital medicines, intravenous fluids, cold packs, ORS (oral rehydration solution), and all necessary equipment.
Ministry stated that sufficient drinking water must be available
The Ministry stated that sufficient drinking water must be available at all health facilities, as well as the continuing operation of cooling appliances in key regions. It went on to say that rainwater gathering and recycling plants may be investigated for water self-sufficiency.
According to the Ministry, the Indian Meteorological Department’s (IMD) seasonal and monthly prognosis for March-May 2022 expects above-normal maximum temperatures in several locations, with substantially higher temperatures in the country’s central, western, and northern regions.
Levels have already reached 46 degrees Celsius in certain areas, with temperature differences of up to six degrees Celsius from average temperatures observed.
In his letter, Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan stated, “States may also use Information, Education, and Communication (IEC), as well as community-level awareness materials regarding the precautions to be taken by the public to shield themselves against heatwave.”
With its statement, the Ministry of Health has also disseminated a standard template of Public Health Advisory that includes dos and don’ts, created by the National Cooperative and Development Corporation (NCDC). It goes on to say that this can be used as a template, altered to meet local needs, and translated into local languages for wider distribution.