Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has picked JJ Hospital to implement ‘sentinel surveillance’ for acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) in 17 of the most polluted cities in the state, including Mumbai.
Sentinel surveillance is the “monitoring of rate of occurrence of specific diseases / conditions through a voluntary network of doctors, laboratories and public health departments with a view to assess the stability or change in health levels of a population”.
Measure Taken Due To Rising Air Pollution
The measure comes following a marked deterioration in Air Quality Index (AQI) readings in the state over the past few weeks, which is adversely affecting the health of the public. The Maharashtra Health Department on Sunday initiated a ‘Health Action Plan’ under which a district level task force will monitor air pollution-related illnesses and ensure prompt treatment throughout the state.
The order also instructed implementation of sentinel surveillance in 17 cities, tracking respiratory and coronary cases at city hospitals, and comparing them to daily AQI levels. “The sentinel surveillance will record the daily number of patients suffering from acute respiratory illnesses and compare it with climate variables such as AQI. Currently, we have chosen one hospital from each of the 17 cities for ARI surveillance. The state is planning to add more hospitals,” an official from the Health Department said.