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Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathy received the Chennai Declaration during the valedictory of the international conference on health systems strengthening in Chennai on Sunday. V.M. Katoch, DG, ICMR (left) and K. Chandra Mouli, DG, NACO, are in the picture. —
CHENNAI: The development of industry, including the healthcare sector in the State had taken its toll on the environment, Chief Secretary K.S. Sripathy said here on Sunday. The quality of water and air had fallen in the last 15 years, the old a gathering of healthcare practitioners and policymakers at the valedictory of the international conference on health systems strengthening.
Mr. Sripathy, who received a declaration signed by conference participants, said though the State had done well in industry and healthcare “we did not take precaution as far as health is concerned.”
The quality of air and water had fallen as industry, including hospitals, had polluted the environment, he said.
“We had to be told how to dispose of used syringes and needles,” he said, adding that cleaner systems were the need of the hour. “Technology should be a tool and human beings must not be its slave,” he said.
The Chennai declaration is of the consensus that besides improving efficiency of public health expenditure, it was necessary to finance clean drinking water.
Calling for long-term planning and a network of healthcare providers, researchers and scientists, V.M. Katoch, Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General of ICMR said, though India had learnt to handle epidemics it was unable to achieve the millennium development goals.
If tuberculosis had not been effectively tackled then it was because of lack of doctors and medical microbiologists, he said, calling for creating more jobs in areas where attention is lacking.
Tamil Nadu's “mercurial change” in the past several years was “due to a vibrant public health system, a well-knit bureaucracy and political will,” he said, urging medical colleges to create laboratories where students could conduct experiments.
K. Chandra Mouli, Director General of National AIDS Control Organisation, said though Tamil Nadu was spending over six per cent of its revenue on health the challenge was in getting things done.
Since health was a State subject, the State's responsibility had also increased, he said.
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