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World Rabies Day | SKUAST-K discusses roadmap for safeguarding public health



World Rabies Day

Srinagar, Sept 29: To commemorate World Rabies Day, Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Kashmir held a daylong event, ‘Roadmap to Safeguard the Public Health from the Threat of Rabies’ at the Shuhama campus.

SKUAST-K’s Division of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, in collaboration with the Directorate of Research under World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of the university, organised the event.

Commissioner, Srinagar Municipal Corporation, Athar Aamir Khan, who was the chief guest at the inaugural event, assured full support to the university and other related organisations in controlling the stray dog menace, the main cause of rabies in Srinagar. He said new infrastructure, along with all technology support, would be put in place to augment the existing animal birth control facility and solid waste management in the city to keep a check on the canine population.

Director Planning and Monitoring and PI NAHEP, SKUAST-K, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders in addressing the threat to Public Health due to various zoonotic diseases, including rabies.

Director Extension Prof Dil Mohammad Makhdoomi, who had several years back started the animal birth control and rabies vaccination programme, deliberated upon the progress of the Animal Birth Control programme and the milestones achieved.

Director Research Prof Sarfaraz A Wani, in his address, outlined the research support university is providing in the areas of solid waste management, food testing and Animal Birth Control and Rabies Vaccination Programme (ABC&RV). He stressed that multiple ABC&RV facilities need to be built in Srinagar city and other towns to control the stray dog menace.

Head SPM Deptt Prof SM Salim gave a detailed overview of the Rabies and dog bite scenario in the Valley, especially in relation to working at SMHS hospital for the cause.

Dr Javid A Rather, Municipal Veterinary, Officer gave a brief outlook of his activities to check stray dog menace. Dr Mudasir Ali Rather, Assistant Professor at Division of Veterinary Public Health, in his presentation, elucidated the models to curb and control rabies as is being done in other parts of the world successfully.

The expert from GADVSU, Dr CK Singh, dealt with the theme on all its aspects with a focus on practicality and applicability. He put forth his suggestions to check and control the disease of rabies. Prof Abdul Hai Head Div. of Veterinary & AH Extension presented the vote of thanks.

The event was attended by participants from diversified areas ranging from School teachers to Medical professionals to the Veterinarians from twin departments of Animal and Sheep Husbandry, besides the Faculty members from the Veterinary College.

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Adapt ‘One Health Approach’ for tackling transmission of diseases from animals to humans: Experts



One Health Approach

SKUAST-K commemorates World Zoonoses Day 

Srinagar, July 6: To better prepare for the public health challenges like the COVID19 pandemic, experts on Tuesday stressed adapting the One Health Approach for addressing the transmission of infections from animals to humans as 75% of the emerging diseases in the world are zoonotic in nature.

Human and animal health experts were speaking in a daylong conference held by the Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir to commemorate World Zoonoses Day. The function was organised by SKUAST-K’s  Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of the SKUAST-K. The event was jointly managed by FVSc’s Division of Veterinary Microbiology and Division of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension.

Assistant Director-General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Dr Ashok Kumar, highlighted the challenge of zoonotic diseases and said more than 75% of the emerging diseases among humans transmit from animals. He discussed the role of the One Health Approach, a WHO concept to address the issue of public health in an integrated manner,  for tackling zoonotic diseases.

Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-K, Prof JP Sharma, who addressed the gathering in virtual mode, highlighted the importance of animal agriculture and associated risks of zoonotic disease. He stressed on capacity building in terms of rapid and accurate disease diagnosis and enhanced quality of veterinary services that are affordable and accessible. Prof MS Khuroo in his presentation discussed the historical perspective about the discovery of Hepatitis –E. The hepatitis-E virus is an emerging global disease that is found almost everywhere in the animal kingdom.

Director Planning and PI NAHEP, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, stressed upon integrating the veterinarians, medical professionals, environmentalists and Food technology experts to further understanding the “One Health Concept”. He stressed on capacity building in terms of infrastructure and human resources to take on the challenge of zoonotic diseases and bio-safety issues. Dean FVSC & A.H, Mohammad Tufail Banday in his opening remarks exhorted veterinarians & medical professionals to address the problem of Zoonotic diseases.

Prof. Shakil Ahmad Wani talked about the topic “Zoonosis-Role of veterinarians”. He highlighted the importance of the future generation to learn from failures in order to frame the success in future. Dr Saleem Kamli discussed the recent COVID19 pandemic and its mitigation strategies. He also discussed the positive side of Covid for bringing all walks of life together. Prof. Sarfaraz Ahmad Wani Director of Research was the guest of honour for the valedictory function. He highlighted the role of the World Zoonosis day” in the present pandemic scenario and the role of veterinarians in controlling emerging and remerging diseases. The symposium was held under strict Covid SOPs.

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100-bed ESIC hospital to come up at Ompora



100-bed ESIC hospital Ompora

LG, Union MoS Labour lay foundation stone of Rs 160-cr project

BK News

Srinagar, Dec 21: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Kumar Sinha and Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar Monday laid the foundation stone of 100-bedded ESIC (Employees’ State Insurance Corporation) Hospital at SIDCO Industrial Complex, Ompora, Budgam.

Constructed at a cost of Rs 160 crore, the hospital would be equipped with modern healthcare facilities and will have OPD, IPD, ICU, Wards, Diagnostic Laboratories, Operation Theater, Disaster management facilities, in addition to an independent sub-station. Surgery and Psychiatric departments would be established in which specialist doctors and well-trained staff will be made available round the clock.

Among others, Farooq Abdullah, Member of Parliament; Farooq Khan, Advisor to Lt Governor; BVR Subrahmanyam, Chief Secretary; Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment; Anuradha Prasad, Director General ESIC; Saurabh Bhagat, Commissioner/Secretary to the Government, Labour and Employment Department J&K; Mohammad Harun, Managing Director, SIDCO; Ghulam Mohammad Dar,  Executive Director, JKEDI; Shahbaz Ahmad Mirza, Deputy Commissioner, Budgam; workers; students and citizens of the area were present on the occasion, according to an official spokesperson.

Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor termed the occasion as yet another step to boost healthcare infrastructure in J&K.

“We are working to provide world-class health facilities at affordable prices to the people of the UT. My aim is to strengthen the preventive, primary and secondary health care ecosystem in J&K,” the Lt Governor said.

The LG said that the facilities in the hospital would be on the lines of those available in the hospital in Ahmedabad, and there is no cap placed on the expenses during the treatment, so that needy people are benefitted.

A time limit of two years has been set for completing the hospital with 23 specialties. “I want this hospital and the expansion of ‘Bari Brahmana’ hospital to be completed in the next One and a half years so that health facilities like Delhi-Mumbai can be provided to the beneficiaries in J&K,” he added.

He observed that there has been a new wave of development across Jammu and Kashmir. I am constantly meeting people, communicating, and every person talks about new opportunities, progress, social and economic advancement.

The Lt Governor said that there are more than 6000 Factories and Establishments in Jammu and Kashmir, under ESI Act and about One lakh 33 thousand insured people and their dependents are given benefits in Jammu Branch Office and five Other Dispensary-Branches at Kathua, Samba, Udhampur, Katra and Srinagar.

“Agreement has been made with many other Super Specialty Hospitals so that there is no lack of necessary health facilities”, he added.

While reiterating Government’s commitment for providing better healthcare facilities across J&K, he said that many progressive initiatives have been undertaken in the field of health sector to ensure best healthcare facilities being provided to the people.

The Prime Minister is going to launch SEHAT – Health Insurance scheme for the entire J&K, in convergence with Ayushman Bharat, to provide free of cost health coverage up to Rs 5 lakhs per household per year without any discrimination, he maintained.

The Lt Governor said that about 1 crore residents of J&K who were not eligible under Ayushman Bharat scheme will also be provided insurance cover under the SEHAT Health Insurance Scheme.

Similarly, the World Bank has agreed to provide financial assistance to the extent of Rs 367 crore to the UT of Jammu and Kashmir for strengthening the healthcare institutions to provide better services to the people and to tackle the global COVID19 pandemic more effectively. This project includes equipment for hospitals, strengthening of Intensive Care Units, Operation Theatres, Laboratories and Critical Care Ambulances, he observed.

In order to streamline the supply of Oxygen in Health care institutions in J&K and to reduce the dependence on the system of storing and supply of oxygen, we have approved the installation of oxygen generation plants in all tertiary care hospitals, district hospitals and other major hospitals, thereby increasing the oxygen availability pool for which Rs 227 crore have already been earmarked, said the Lt Governor.

Maternal and infant health indicators in Jammu and Kashmir have recorded improvements as per the report of the National Family Health Survey. The report states that in Jammu and Kashmir, there has been a decrease of 22 numbers in neonatal morbidities and a decrease of 16 numbers in infant mortality, he added.

To provide immediate relief to the workers of the unorganized sector during COVID pandemic, more than 90 thousand people have been registered in Mission Mode and cards of more than 25,000 workers were renewed.

As on date, the number of registered workers has reached 2.86 lakh and not only this, 696 Transport workers who were facing hardships due to Corona pandemic are being given Rs 1000 as relief every month under the Economic Revival Package and under COVID relief and assistance, Rs 63 crore has been provided to about 1.66 lakh beneficiaries. At the same time, under the PM Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan, nearly 1 lakh people from the unorganized sector have been registered and Jammu and Kashmir has become the first UT in the country to do so, he added.

On the occasion, the Lt Governor observed that a national-level job fair in both Jammu and Srinagar would be held so that our Skilled and Educated youth can be provided with job opportunities in corporate entities.

The Lt Governor also expressed desire to establish Labour Sarai for the Labourers who often get struck on highways while travelling during landslides and snowfall.

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, while speaking on the occasion, said that the Central Government is very keen to ensure peace, prosperity and development in J&K. He said that the government has taken various milestone steps for the welfare and progress of labour class to uplift their socio-economic conditions. By establishing Labour Courts and Laws, workers have been provided with a lot of relief, he added. Regarding completion of construction work of ESIC hospital at Budgam, the Union Minister said that the hospital will come up with the State of Art medical facilities and cater to the medical needs of insured persons and beneficiaries in the catchment area. 50 bedded ESIC Hospital at Bari Brahmana would be upgraded to 100-bedded hospital for which additional land has been identified, he added.

The Union Minister assured all possible support to the UT government for welfare and prosperity of the people of J&K.

Later, cheques worth Rs 6.37 crore were distributed as financial assistance among 6,444 construction workers and beneficiaries of self-employment scheme by the Lt Governor and Union Minister for Labour and Employment.

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Advisor Bhatnagar reviews status of J&K’s major health projects



Status of major health projects

BK News

Jammu, Dec 21: Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Monday chaired a meeting to review progress on major projects of the Health and Medical Education (H&ME) Department in Jammu and Kashmir.

The projects are being executed under PMDP, Centrally Sponsored and other schemes including AIIMS Jammu and AIIMS Kashmir.

The meeting was attended by Financial Commissioner H&ME, Atal Dulloo; MD Jammu Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC), Vikas Kundal; Director Health Services, Jammu, Dr Renu Sharma; Principal GMC Jammu, Dr Shashi Sudhan Sharma; Director Coordination New Medical Colleges Dr Yashpal Sharma; MD Jammu and Kashmir Housing Board (JKHB), MD Jammu and Kashmir Police Housing Corporation (JKPHC), Director ISM, Chief Engineer AIIMS CPWD, Chief Engineer R&B, Jammu and other concerned officials while Mission Director NHM, Bhupinder Kumar, Principal GMC, Srinagar, Dr. Samia Rashid, Director Health Services, Kashmir, Samir Mattoo; Chief Engineer R&B, Kashmir, Showkat Jeelani,  Principals of GMCs Anantnag, Baramulla, Kathua, Doda and Rajouri participated through video conferencing, according to an official spokesperson.

The meeting discussed the present status and impediments of various works in being executed by different agencies.

The advisor also reviewed the procurement of medical equipment and furniture for the newly established Medical Colleges of Anantnag, Baramulla, Doda, Kathua and Rajouri besides faculty position and status of paramedical staff was also assessed for these colleges.

Regarding AIIMS Vijaypur Samba, the advisor was informed that the work is going on in full pace with exterior works fully completed besides the classes for the first batch of MBBS for the academic session 2020-21 have been started from GMC Kathua on a makeshift arrangement basis.

Regarding AIIMS Awantipora, Advisor was informed that the exterior works are near to completion, construction of the approach road is going on in full swing besides arrangements have been made to start the first batch of MBBS for the academic session 2021-22.

Advisor Bhatnagar directed the concerned executing agencies to expedite the pace of work so that these prestigious projects can be completed within the fixed timelines and dedicated to the public at the earliest. He maintained that these reputable projects will revolutionise the health scenario of Jammu and Kashmir.

About the projects being executed by JKPCC like GMC Anantnag and GMC Baramulla, Advisor had a detailed project-wise assessment of the present status of the works being executed there.

MD JKPCC briefed the Advisor about the progress of its projects besides reasons for the delay in some projects which are running behind the given completion dates.

Advisor directed the MD JKPCC to speed up the works and remove the bottlenecks that are hindering the pace of the works and complete all the allotted projects within fixed timelines. He impressed upon the MDJKPCC to finish the works on classrooms and laboratories before the onset of the new academic session for which admissions are going on.

Regarding the projects executed by R&B Jammu like GMC Doda, Kathua and Rajouri, Advisor was informed that the work on these projects is going on smoothly and they will be completed well within the assigned deadlines.

Advisor was also informed that under Phase III of Centrally Sponsored Schemes two new medical colleges for Handwara and Udhampur have been sanctioned for which the requisite formalities have been started and PWD (R&B) has been engaged as executing agency for carrying out the civil works.

Advisor Bhatnagar directed the officers to start the work on these colleges at the earliest besides the process of creating posts as per MCI guidelines should also be initiated in advance.

Similarly, Advisor Bhatnagar also took a detailed appraisal of other health projects like Government Unani Medical College and Hospital, Ganderbal, Government Ayurvedic Medical College and Hospital, Jammu and five Nursing Colleges at Jammu, Kishtwar, Sopore, Baramulla, and Anantnag (sanctioned under PMDP) being executed by different agencies like JKHB and JKPHC.

Officers from these executing agencies apprised the Advisor about the status of these projects and informed him that works are going on in full swing at these important projects.

Addressing the officers of the executing agencies, Advisor Bhatnagar directed them to gear up their men and machinery so that the desired pace can be maintained for achieving the results on the ground. He asked the senior officers of the agencies to personally visit the projects they are handling so that the issues be resolved.

Speaking during the meeting, Financial Commissioner, H&ME, Atal Dulloo asked the officers and representatives of executing agencies to expedite the pace of works so that the projects are completed in time and dedicated to the public.

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