Telangana’s focused investments in health sector

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Gachibowli Sports Village building which was converted into Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) recently.

Hyderabad: Consistent and focused investments in upgrading medical infrastructure, setting-up new medical colleges, improving maternal and infant healthcare facilities have brought a lot of positive changes in the healthcare sector in Telangana State.

Special focus on mother and childcare through KCR Kits and direct cash benefit scheme to pregnant women resulted in steady decrease in the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) and Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR). The ICMR-Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) study published in the prestigious medical journal ‘The Lancet’ this May said that the State has improved remarkably well in Neonatal Mortality Rate (NMR) and Under-Five Mortality Rate (U5MR).

Since 2017, the State government has spent over Rs 677.42 crore only for procurement of new diagnostic medical equipment, furniture for government hospitals and financially supporting the showpiece initiative of KCR Kits in the State.

NMR drops in TS

Back in 2000, the NMR in TS was 34.4 deaths for 1,000 live births and over the next 17 years, the NMR of the State gradually reduced to 17.6 for 1,000 live births. In fact, according to the ICMR study, between 2000 and 2017, the State witnessed an annual percentage drop of 6.47 per cent while nationally the average percentage drop was 4.5 per cent. The PHFI study also has indicated that the U5MR, which is the probability of children dying between birth and exactly 5 years of age, expressed per 1,000 live births, has also declined between 2000 and 2017. The annual percentage drop of U5MR between 2010 and 2017 in Telangana State was 5.07 per cent.

Kanti Velugu

The Kanti Velugu (light of the eye) initiative, arguably the most efficient short-term public health initiatives launched by any Indian State, not only provided on the spot treatment for eye related ailments and spectacles to people needing vision correction, but also worked towards spreading awareness on eye ailments among the community, made eyecare accessible to underserved communities and also identified those needing long term treatment at tertiary care facilities.

The initiative was launched on August 15, 2018 by Chief Minister, K Chandrashekhar Rao and continued for about eight months till March 31, 2019. By the time the mass eye-screening initiative concluded, a whopping 1.5 crore individuals in Telangana State were screened for eye-related ailments, which so far is unprecedented in any other Indian State.

ICU facilities

Back in 2015, the trauma care facilities in districts needed a lot of attention in Telangana region. To address the gap, authorities developed 20 Intensive Care Units (ICUs) with each unit having 10 beds a cost of close to Rs 30 crore. A speciality post-operative ICU facility was established at Petlaburj Maternity Hospital, which provides critical post-operative care to women who undergo complicated caesarean sections.

Special focus was given to develop ICU facilities in districts including area hospitals in Mahbubnagar, Karimnagar, Siddipet, Tandur in Rangareddy, district hospital in King Koti, Khammam, Nalgonda and Sangareddy. Similar facilities are also coming up at area hospitals in Adilabad (Mancherial), Nizamabad and Janagama in Warangal district.

T Diagnostics and Covid labs

Ensuring access to high-end diagnostic services in government hospitals has always remained a challenge for authorities. With more and more patients ending-up incurring out-of-pocket expenditure to access diagnostic tests, the authorities decided to the T Diagnostic initiative.

For the first time in the medical history of Telangana State, within a span of five months between January and May, the State health officials have managed to start 9 government laboratories that are capable of conducting highly technical Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2.


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