“That is why; we are looking at Drone Technology for carrying and transporting these lifesaving vaccines, blood in times where blood transfusion is required. We are looking towards expanding our work through these drone technology by transferring these medical supplies,” said Kharshiing.
Later, while speaking to media persons, Kharshiing informed that in Meghalaya, NEC is working with premier health institute — NEIGRIHMS in the transportation of medical supplies to remote places by using this medical institute as a hub.
“We are at a pilot stage; I am not aware if it has been done anywhere else in the Northeast, but in Meghalaya, I am told that this is the first time that we are doing for medical supplies,” said Kharshiing.
He said that there have been usages of drone technology where NEC is supporting other states for transportation of other equipment like seeds and agricultural products but as far as medical supplies are concerned, this is a pilot project.
“We are planning and are still at the experimenting stage; we are trying it out first in Shillong,” he said adding that Rs 10 lakh has been sanctioned for this particular project at the initial stage.
He also informed that the other Northeastern states have also been equipped with drone technology for the same purpose.
Furthermore, he stated that NEC is also supporting the North East Space Application Centre (NESAC) for making the Flood Early Warning System through the usage of satellite technology and mobile app.
“We already have a flood early warning system but we are looking to extend it towards creating a warning system for thunderstorm and cyclone in the NE region. We are also partnering with NESAC to look at expanding this system into vector-borne diseases; It is in the pipeline,” he added.
Kharshiing also informed that the NEC had commissioned a study by the North East Development Financial Institute (NEDFI) on the state of health care in NE and how to upgrade the health care services in the districts.
The study reveals various shortcomings in terms of the availability of trained doctors, medical and health officers and nurses to deal with different kinds of emergencies in PHCs and CHCs.
“There is a need to frame a strategy by looking at all these challenges and I hope we can come forward with a road map on how to strengthen our public health system to meet the requirements,” said the NEC official.
He also emphasized on the need to include the local communities in this whole exercise even as he mentioned that the strength of the Northeast lies in its local communities.
“The local communities are very strong in the region and particularly in times of emergencies, the communities are the first responders. Hence, there is a need to involve the local bodies,” Kharshiing added.
The programme was also attended by the Director – Programs and Advocacy, Oxfam India, Pankaj Anand, former Member of NDMA, GoI, Dr Muzaffar Ahmad, Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Assam, Dr Madhulika Jonathan and Director of Health Services – Govt of Meghalaya, Dr Aman Warr besides health officials from states like Assam, Tripura, Sikkim and Meghalaya.
Updated by: News Sources 2019-09-24 3:04 PM