Prez expresses concern over Kerala's health sector

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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 1 (UNI) Expressing concern over the return of communicable diseases and its negative impact on the health of the people and economy of Kerala, President Pratibha Patil today said the state should chalk out effective ways to combat such diseases.

Launching the Action Plan for Clean Kerala Mission here, she said though Kerala was known for its high quality of life indicators in the country, new challenges were cropping up.

''The return of communicable diseases is of serious concern, particularly as the State has a very high density of population. The outbreak of diseases negatively impacts the health of the people and the economy of the State,'' she said at a civic reception accorded to her here.

Stating that the Clean Kerala Mission should go a long way in maintaining health and further improving the quality of life of the people, Ms Patil said an action plan with targets to be achieved in a specified time frame was required to achieve the objectives of the Mission.

Pointing out that Indians were becoming more vulnerable to lifestyle diseases like cardiac problems and diabetes, she said it was encouraging that the State was launching a Total Physical Fitness programme.

Physical education programme would impart physical fitness and improve mental abilities, thereby reducing health hazards, the President said, calling for making Ayurveda centres an integral part of the health sector.

Another challenge faced by the State was the increasing percentage of the elderly population. ''Focused attention needs to be given on the needs of the elderly. On-site healthcare delivery can be provided to them through various measures such as provision of mobile medical units, organising home visits to bed ridden elderly and training caretakers. Needs of the elderly population should form a part of the Healthy Kerala Mission,'' she said.

Ms Patil also lauded the role of nurses from Kerala, rendering invaluable service in hospitals all over the country and also overseas.

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