Medi-snippets: e-health cards for all citizens | Sunday Observer

Medi-snippets: e-health cards for all citizens

Information of all Sri Lankan citizens will be stored in e-health cards in the near future. This was the promise held out by Health, Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine, Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne following the launching of the Information Management Systems at the Castle Street Maternity Hospital, recently.

Commenting on the need for e-heath cards, he had reportedly pointed out that at present there was no drug shortage in state hospitals due to the new software introduced to track down the availability of drugs, and obtain required drugs from hospitals where they were available. If there was any drug shortage, the hospital Director of the relevant hospital should take the responsibility for such a situation, he was quoted as saying. Since all data of a person is stored in his/her e-health card it is very easy for doctors to treat such person without delay as all necessary details, like, blood group, etc are stored in it.

The e-health cards are expected to come into effect within four months of launching the project.

Health Ministry sources said, assistance from a private company which has computerised all the information of people living in Andra Pradesh in India has been sought to implement the project.

Ayurveda drugs production to be increased

Ayurveda drugs production will be expanded with new products and more awareness programmes for the public and schoolchildren being carried out island wide.

Ayurvedic Corporation Chairman, Lal Samarasinghe was quoted as saying that educating schoolchildren in the ancient Ayurvedic system will commence from Ananda College, Maradana.

Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne launched the “Renaissance -60 Day Operation’ during which the Corporation will start a production factory for Rasa drugs and coconut oil . He said, a total of 100,000 herbal plants would be grown in camps with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Army .

Commenting on the profit made by the Ayurveda Drugs Corporation, at a media conference held recently, the Health Minister said, new sales outlets and a collection centre for dried Ayurvedic drugs were also on the cards.

SL to cultivate cannabis for medical purposes

Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne last week reportedly said, a Cabinet Paper had been presented seeking approval to cultivate cannabis with the assistance of the armed forces. Initially, 100 acres of cannabis would be cultivated for medical purposes, he said. According to him , the UK and Canada had lifted the ban on cannabis due to its use as a herb to treat neurological disorders. Hence, it was now time for Sri Lanka to grow cannabis for medical purposes, export them and thereby earn millions of rupees in foreign exchange since cannabis cannot be grown in cold climates, he was quoted as saying. He has reportedly noted that cannabis stocks taken into custody by the Police from time to time, when subsequently released for medical purposes, did not have the same effect as freshly grown cannabis.

Facebook page of NDDCB launched

The official Facebook page of the National Dangerous Drug Control Board (NDDCB ) was launched during the recent International Day Against Drug Abuse & Illicit Trafficking with a national programme held at the BMICH under the patronage of President Maithrapala Sirisena, mainly directed to educate the youth. Over 13 % schoolchildren islandwide, mostly over 14 years have been reportedly found to be addicts involved in some form of substance abuse, the Presidential Task Force for the Prevention of Drug Abuse was reported as saying recently.

NCPA to implement new guidelines for day care centres

The National Child Protection Authority ( NCPA ) has said it would issue and implement guidelines for day care centre operators . This follows a video circulating online which showed a sick and medicated child, locked out of a day care centre in Colombo . The NCPA Chairman H.M Abeyratna has promised to hold discussions with parents and day care operators to improve existing guidelines and implement new measures that would prevent mistreatment of children in a day care facility.

He was quoted as saying that day care centres in Sri Lanka lacked knowledge to look after children properly, and the NCPA was unable to investigate into the incident as the parents had complained directly to the Police . He added that if the parents would inform the matter to the NCPA as well, he promised to follow up on the issue.

Accidental mishaps overtake NCDs

Accidents drive people to hospitals more than for other medical treatment , health officials have said.

A Consultant Community Physician and the National Programme Manager (Injury Prevention) Non Communicable Disease Unit of the Health Ministry, Dr Samitha Siritunga was recently quoted as saying at a media discussion that every hour, 450 Sri Lankans seek medical treatment for injury caused by accidents. In total, 11,000 seek medical treatment for same. He reportedly said, around four million victims of accidents sought medical treatment annually.

The highest number of accidents are caused by falls, and most injuries occur in the home while road traffic accidents are the cause for the most number of accidental deaths, he was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, a woman and her five year old child were critically injured when they were knocked down by a speeding bus at Wellawaya, and according to another report, two were killed and several injured when a bus plying from Kattankudy to Colombo collided head on with a van, on route to Batticaloa ,at the time of writing this column.

Road indiscipline is said to be the main cause for road traffic accidents according to Police officials. Up to now 1,459 persons have been reported killed in road accidents this year, and annually 900 pedestrians die while trying to cross the road.

Dengue spikes mostly in North and East

Over 24,600 suspected cases of dengue have been reported to the Epidemiology Unit in June from across the country. Nearly 32 % of the cases were from the Western Province according to the latest reports. However, in June it was found that the number of suspected cases had surged in Jaffna and Batticaloa . In Jaffna 337 cases were reported in June bringing the total to 1,680, while in Batticaloa a total of 3,539 cases were reported. Others with high numbers of reported cases include 255 within the Colombo Municipal Council area, totalling to 1,111 and 3,080 cases in other areas in Colombo.

Health officials have also warned of water borne diseases including Rat fever (Leptisporosis) and cautioned the public to notify the nearest hospital regarding any such disease.