The Ministry of Public Health is launching an application to track the health of citizens in the Na Phra Lan tambon, located in the Chalerm Prakiat district of Saraburi, in response to rising concerns about air pollution and contamination caused by nearby limestone mines and cement manufacturing plants.
Rungruang Kitpati, the chairman of the ministry’s Intelligence Unit, acknowledged the impact of particulate matter pollution on the health of residents in the area. Since 2004, Na Phra Lan has been designated as a pollution control zone. In accordance with the law, local authorities within a pollution control zone must disclose all relevant pollution data, enabling citizens to take necessary precautions for their health. The presence of such data also helps guide government action, Bangkok Post reported.
Nonetheless, much of the information must be collected by hand and is frequently recorded on paper. Consequently, those who require access to this crucial data may face lengthy delays as they attempt to locate the pertinent details.
Kitpati explained that local health authorities and the ministry are collaborating to create a web-based app that will digitise their database, including patients’ medical histories. This technological advancement aims to identify individuals at a heightened risk of contracting pollution-related diseases more efficiently.
Residents in the affected area will be divided into three subcategories based on their risk level, enabling health workers to allocate resources effectively and prioritise those in greater need. Kitpati added that the app will be connected to the general patients’ database managed by the ministry.
He also suggested the possibility of utilising the application as a prototype to address severe pollution issues in other regions. The implementation of this technological solution aims to ensure that environmentally-impacted communities can access accurate information promptly. In turn, this empowers both individual citizens and the government to make informed decisions concerning their health and well being in relation to pollution-related risks.
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