Greater Chennai Corporation plans proactive steps to tackle future pandemics, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Greater Chennai Corporation plans proactive steps to tackle future pandemics, Health News, ET HealthWorld

CHENNAI: Even as the spread of Covid-19 in Chennai reduces, Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has started planning training modules and proactive measures for tackling future pandemics in vulnerable parts of the cities like settlements for urban poor and public schools.

The civic body has planned to roll out a water supply and sanitation hygiene (WASH) service in 78 schools that it runs in the northern and western parts of the city at a cost of around 15 crore.

There will be broadly four focus areas for this – WASH services and products like public sanitiser dispensers and behavioural training to students, infection prevention and control (IPC) measures in community and primary health centres, a surveillance system for IPC of Covid-19-like infections and other communicable diseases among low-income communities and preparedness of these communities to future pandemic and disasters.

A key part of the plan involves a surveillance system for infection prevention by establishing mobile medical and diagnostic units attached to primary health centres and establishing mobile water quality testing labs.

For the purpose, eight units for sample collection and one testing lab for analysing them would be provided. A vaccine storage facility with ice packs and storage boxes is also part of the proposal. The same van can be used for future rapid vaccination as well. Similarly, four mobile water testing labs have been planned.

“The idea is to bring about a behavioural change and prepare the most vulnerable residents of the city for similar pandemics and disasters. For instance, hand-washing practices in high-income group residents would be well understood, but it may not be the same among low-income group residents,” a senior official explained.

The corporation has planned to roll out pedal-operated water supply facilities with soap for improving hand hygiene in 78 schools. Waste management would also be carried out through pedal-operated machines as part of menstrual hygiene management.

There will be gender sensitive and inclusive sanitation management. For instance, adequate number of toilets including disabled friendly ones with privacy rooms will be provided. Students, teachers and non-teaching staff will be trained on sanitation, drinking water points and personal hygiene. Training on use of PPE kits by cleaning personnel will also be given through audio-visual medium.

Apart from these modules, staff of primary and community health centres would be explained about waste management through colour-coded waste bins. The best toilet disinfection practices during a pandemic or other disasters would also be taught.

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