Centre issues Ebola advisory, asks Bihar to remain alert

Source: hindustantimes.com

The Bihar health department has readied guidelines to issue an advisory asking medical colleges and district hospitals to identify isolation facility for Ebola virus disease (EVD).

This follows an advisory by the Centre on July 18 urging states to keep vigil for EVD after its cases were reported from Congo. On July 17, the World Health Organisation declared the situation of Ebola in Congo as public health emergency of international concern.

The letter from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), ministry of health and family welfare (MoH&FW), New Delhi, advised state surveillance officer to keep constant vigil and raise awareness level and knowledge of surveillance officers and healthcare providers on basic standard precautions to be followed during the care and treatment of the suspected patients.

It also asked states and union territories to identify an isolation facility in each district and medical college.

“While asking our healthcare officials to stay alert and also ready isolation wards in their respective facilities, we will ask all districts and medical colleges to immediately notify us if they come across any case of Ebola. We will urge our health officials to keep themselves abreast with the Centre’s instructions on safe handling of human remains of Ebola patients, hospital infection control guidelines, guidelines for sample collection, storage and transportation, guidelines for healthcare provider and guidelines for clinical case management, available on the MoH&FW website,” said executive director of Bihar’s State Health Society, Manoj Kumar.

He said though hospitals did not have separate beds for different diseases, it did have a limited number of beds in isolation ward to cater to infectious diseases.

“We will reiterate the need to keep in readiness isolation wards in district hospitals and medical colleges that can also be used to treat Ebola cases,” added Kumar.

Director, NCDC, Dr Sujeet K Singh, in his letter, said, “If any suspect is admitted to their health facility or seen by health provider, (they should) include the basic level of infection control — hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment to avoid direct contact with blood and body fluids, prevention of needle stick and injuries from other sharp instruments, and a set of environmental control.”

Cases of Ebola are being reported from Congo since 2018. So far, 2,522 cases (2,428 confirmed and 94 probable) and 1,698 (1,604 confirmed and 94 probable) deaths have been reported since August 2018 till July 16, this year from Congo with case fatality rate of 70%. 

No MCI admission nod for Jharkhand’s 3 new medical colleges this year

Source: hindustantimes.com

The Medical Council of India (MCI) has denied permission to three newly set up medical colleges in Jharkhand, at Palamu, Hazaribagh and Dumka, to start academic sessions from 2019, citing faculty deficiency.

The state government had sought permission to start classes for 50 MBBS seats in each of the three medical colleges from the current session.

In the list released by the MCI for availability of MBBS seats in medical colleges across country, names of these three from Jharkhand are missing.

At present, the three medical colleges have only caretaker principals in the name of college administrator as well as faculty member.

While state’s health secretary Nitin Madan Kulkarni was available for comment, Dr Arun Kumar, superintendent of MGMMCH, who is the acting principal of Hazaribagh Medical College, said the permission was not granted for 2019 session due to 100% faculty deficiency.

“The college has all the infrastructure to begin operations, but no teachers. Appointment of faculty members is under progress,” he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated buildings of these three colleges constructed at a cost of Rs 885 crore on February 17 from Hazaribagh and the state government had promised that all three institutions would begin functioning from this July. The then union minister Jayant Sinha and chief minister Raghubar Das were also present on the occasion. The Prime Minister had also laid foundation of four 500-bed hospitals at Palamu, Dumka, Jamshedpur and Hazaribagh.

But even after four months of inauguration by Prime Minister, the state government has failed to appoint even a single teacher in all three medical colleges.

A senior official of state health department said that due to imposition of model code of conduct for parliamentary elections, the government’s hands were tied for three months from March to May, due to which appointment of faculty members in these medical colleges could not be done.

“By the time model code was lifted, the MCI deadline had ended,” the official said, requesting anonymity as the health secretary is himself dealing with the MCI on the issue.

The official said reluctance of doctors to join medical colleges of state had emerged as major hurdle in appointing teachers. On June 3, government had organised walk-in interviews for senior residents at Ranchi, but only 30% candidates turned up.