Bring AIDS control under National Health Mission: Uttar Pradesh
The Bangarmau HIV horror has prompted the state health department to write to the Centre to bring AIDS control programme under the bigger umbrella of the National Health Mission.lucknow Updated: Feb 08, 2018 14:56 IST
The Bangarmau HIV horror has prompted the state health department to write to the Centre to bring AIDS control programme under the bigger umbrella of the National Health Mission (NHM), a senior health official said.
Director, UP National Health Mission, Pankaj Kumar said a proposal had been sent to the ministry of health and family welfare for the approval of programme implementation plan (PIP) to include AIDS control in NHM for the financial year 2018-19.
“We need more facilities and funds to check and treat the growing number of cases,” he said.
According to health officials, the UP State Aids Control Society (UPSACS), funded by NACO, is unable to deal with the rising number of HIV positive cases as it has been facing shortage of funds ever since the World Bank and other international agencies stopped funding it about a decade ago. UPSACS is now completely dependent on NACO.
“At least 74,000 HIV positive patients are registered at antiretroviral therapy (ART) centres across the state. However, the number of HIV positive cases may be as high as 1.50 lakh. More efforts are required to deal with the situation,” said Priti Pathak, a senior official at UPSACS.
Though NACO supports UPSACS with free testing kits, drugs and treatment, health officers say the programme needs budgetary support from the state health department too for treatment of people and mass awareness programmes.
A health department officer said earlier the AIDS control programme was supported by the World Bank but ever since it stopped funding, AIDS control became totally dependent on NACO.
“Since UP is highly vulnerable, state support is important for AIDS control programme,” the officer said.
“With HIV prevalence of 0.12% among the general population, UP is quite vulnerable. The number of HIV cases is higher in east UP districts like Siddharthnagar, Azamgarh, Ballia, Ghazipur, Basti, Gorakhpur and Deoria. A large number of people from these districts migrate to big cities in search of jobs,” Pathak said.
She said UPSACS organised over a hundred health camps every year to identify HIV positive patients.
“Most of the camps and mass awareness programmes are organised during the festivals when migrant workers visit home. Due to shortage of doctors and lack of awareness, people are dependent on local quacks for treatment,” she said.
A senior official in health department said at least 7,000 posts of doctors were lying vacant which was hampering work at health centres and hospitals. “Out of 18,382 sanctioned posts, only 11,034 government doctors are working in government hospitals,” he said.
He added 2,000 AYUSH (ayurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, siddha and homeopathy) doctors had been posted in primary health centres and community health centres in rural areas to strengthen health services.
Additional project director, UPSACS, Umesh Mishra said the department also carried out AIDS awareness programmes in prisons to create awareness among undertrials.
First Published: Feb 08, 2018 14:56 IST