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Focus on health, President tells Kerala
November 01, 2007 13:19 IST
Effective methods should be found to combat the outbreak of communicable diseases in Kerala [Images], which are posing a challenge to the state's health sector, President Pratibha Patil [Images] said on Thursday.
Speaking at a civic reception, where she inaugurated three new schemes including the Clean Kerala Mission, the President said the outbreak of diseases would have a negative impact on the health of the people and economy of the state.
Kerala was lately hit by many communicable diseases like chikungaya.
To combat diseases, an action plan should be formulated to implement the Clean Kerala Mission within a specific time-frame and developing proper systems of waste management.
The President also spoke of the increasing elderly population in Kerala. "This has several implications in relation to health needs, work participation rate, dependence rate and pension requirements," she said.
Focused attention should be given to meet the needs of the elderly. On-site health delivery could be provided to them through measures like provision of mobile medical units and organising home visits by care-givers to the bed-ridden.
On her maiden visit to the state after assuming office, Pratibha also inaugurated distribution of scholarships to higher secondary students and released the logo of Kerala State Total Physical Fitness programme for youth and students.
Pratibha said Kerala should aim at developing, producing and marketing knowledge products and becoming a knowledge hub of the region.
Facilities should be developed to handle outsourced work and to set up IT-enabled services with the participation of non-resident Keralites.
The high level of literacy in the state would be helpful in creating awareness about the Total Physical Fitness Scheme, which should help manage lifestyle diseases like cardiac problems and diabetes to which people were becoming increasingly vulnerable, she said.
While pointing out that Kerala was the only state in India where sex ratio was above equality ratio with 1,058 females per 1,000 males, she cautioned against the prevalence of dowry system in some sections. "We should determinedly fight against this menace," Pratibha said.
She commended the state for achieving considerable success in strengthening local governments and decentralised development with the participation of all sections of people in planning, decision-making and generating resources.
Democracy in Kerala rested on the solid foundation of an educated, well-informed and discriminating electorate that accepted a diversity of views, she said, adding the state truly symbolised the concept of unity in diversity.
Speaking on the 51st formation day of the state, Pratibha said Kerala had progressed a great deal in the last five decades and has come to the forefront for its achievements in the fields of education, healthcare and empowerment of women.
The advancement had been possible due to the joint efforts of the government, political and social outfits, hard work, spirit of openness and enterprise of the people.
The President described Kerala as a land of exceptional natural beauty, which has made it one of the country's top tourist destinations.
The growth of tourism in the state was commendable and further steps to boost the sector should be taken to generate additional revenue and employment.
Efforts should be made to keep the environment unpolluted, waters pristine and the air clean by adopting eco-friendly practices to attract more tourists, she said.
Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan presided over the function. Speaker K Radhakrishnan, Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy and Ministers Thomas Issac, M A Baby, C Divakaran, N K Premachandran, Mons Joseph, Mathew T Thomas and M Vijayakumar were also present.