The Port Health Organization, Kandla was established in the year 1957 as a sub-ordinate office of the Directorate General of Health Services under the administrative control of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. The office commenced functioning with Anti-Mosquito work, which was taken over from the local port authorities. Kandla Seaport in Gujarat is the major planned Seaport in India and ranked at number one position in the cargo handling for the last 4 -5 years. The Port is getting an average of 200 ships in a month. There are about 68 minor ports in Gujarat out of which 10 -15 minor ports are very active and need continuous monitoring.
The Port Health Organization, Kandla performs health check work to detect importation of any infectious disease and take suitable action as prescribed in the Indian Port Health Rules, 1955 & proposed Port Health Rules 2015, and International Health Regulation, 1969 and 2005 and as per instructions/ guidance received from the Director General of Health Services, from time to time. The Primary objective of this organization is to prevent International Spread of Diseases from one country to another as per International Health Regulations of World Health Organization. This is achieved by Implementation of Following Acts/ Rules:-
- The Indian Ports Act, 1908.
- The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958.
- Food Safety and standard Act, (FSSA)-2006.
- The Indian Port Health Rules, 1955.
- The Unberthed Passenger Ships rules, 1954.
- The Merchant Shipping (Carriage of Medical Officers) Rules, 1961.
- The Merchant Shipping (Medicines, Medical Stores and Appliance) Rules, 1994.
- The International Health Regulations (2005)
- Surveillance of International Crew for yellow fever disease-- As per the standard procedure all the incoming of International ships are screened by PHO which are coming through the yellow fever endemic countries for having proper Yellow fever certificates and mosquitoes surveillance protection against yellow fever and screening of ships crew arriving from declared Covid19 infected countries, in which visual inspection and thermal screening and all necessary inspection are done by PHO.
- Yellow Fever & Polio Vaccination: International vaccination centre for Yellow fever, PHO, Kandla provides vaccinations to all the international passengers on request who are travelling through the yellow fever endemic countries.
- Public Health clearance of dead body/human remains- As in accordance with “International Health Regulations Rules 2005” officials of Port Health Organization after checking the necessary documents in order to check the spread of any communicable disease of International concern in this country.
- Food Safety & Surveillance Duties: Food surveillance duties are one of the prime responsibilities of PHO, Kandla at the Port Premises area issuing of Catering Establishment licence and surveillance periodically at port premises .as well as inspection of food at ships coming from international ports having good quality and sufficient quantity of food and follows up rules by ship .
- Surveillance of the Food Outlets: As per the FSS Act 2006.PHO Kandla, the Local Health Authority undertakes inspection of food outlets operating in the Port premises regularly.
- Medical Emergencies: – In medical emergencies on Ships PHO Kandla gives Medical advice through VHF and gives permission to international traveller crew members to visit shore Doctor strictly for medical assistance only..
Activities related to vector, food and water:
- a) Vector Surveillance :Vector control activities primarily for Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is vector of yellow fever disease, is undertaken by Deendayal Port Trust, Kandla and their agency for pest control. PHO staff with the assistance from National vector borne disease control program undertakes periodic monitoring of the vector control activities to ensure that aedes aegypti index is regularly maintained Zero (0.0%) as per the prescribed international norms. National Vector Borne Disease Control Program, Delhi undertakes independent surveys every quarter. On the basis of the monitoring by NVBDCP feedback is given to PHO for taking appropriate vector control measures.
- b) Ships Dis-insection: surveillance of the ships disinsection details is undertaken for all the incoming international ships by examination of the General Declaration of Health. and passenger manifest submitted by the Crew at the time of arrival at Port.
- Sanitary Inspection: International Health Regulations (World Health Organization) requires regular Sanitary Inspection in and around port premises (range of 400 mtrs ). Accordingly Port Health Organization undertakes periodic sanitary inspection rounds at Cargo Jetty 1 to 16 and oil Jetty 1-6 and near port area range of 400mtrs area. Sanitary inspectors also assist in Vector surveillance, sanitary inspection of the Food outlets, and drinking water sampling for bacteriological testing by National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Delhi, for periodic surveillance of drinking water sources. Details were communicated to port officials for undertaking appropriate measures.
- Training for Medical and para-medical staff: Training activities are being arranged for medical and para-medical staff i.e. field workers training, vector surveillance training.
- Port Health Officer also participates as member for various technical issues with regard to health measures in Dte.GHS.
- Disaster Management Mock Drill- PHO, Kandla provides its expert opinion whenever Mock Drill is conducted by Disaster Management.
- Medical & Ships Emergencies- The PHOs are Public Health Organization and perform the public health related activities at the Seaport. Every port has health unit to take care any clinical emergency occurring onboard to the crew or to the staff working at the Seaport. In case the emergency is having large number of affected persons then the PHO works along with other control room officers and coordinate with other Government Health facilities for transportation and management of the health services needy persons.
Public Health Emergency of International Importance- Activities during the Public Health Emergencies Out Break e.g. Ebola Virus Disease, Yellow Fever Disease, MERS- CoV&Zika Virus Disease, nCOV 19 virus disease etc.
- Activation of PHECP
- Coordination with other stakeholders.
- Functions as per guidelines for PHEIC.
- Training of stakeholders.
- Procurement and Deployment of additional manpower.
- Procurement of material required.
- Screening/ Quarantine/ Isolation/ Lab testing/ Transportation/ Contact tracing.
- Coordination with National /state/ local agencies.