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Childhood Lead Exposure Prevention: Assessment Of Blood Lead Surveillance Capacity Maharashtra, India

In India, a recent National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog—Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) report has highlighted the importance of establishing blood lead surveillance that can generate high-quality local data to help understand lead exposure and health burden among Indian children. This may be implemented effectively at the state level, starting in states including Maharashtra, where there is demonstrated government commitment to addressing environmental health issues. Statewide childhood blood lead surveillance typically involves monitoring blood lead levels (BLLs) among children and collecting other information that may indicate risks and sources of lead exposure.

As an essential step toward establishing such a system at the state level in Maharashtra, we conducted a capacity assessment to evaluate existing laboratory capacity and health system structure and provide recommendations for capacity strengthening and surveillance options best suited for Maharashtra. This capacity assessment report evaluated the policy landscape, public health infrastructure laboratory capacity to initiate and support a statewide childhood lead surveillance system, which will be fulfilled in close collaboration with the Public Health Department (PHD), Government of Maharashtra.