Govt. to enforce ban on smoking in public places
By Our Special Correspondent
HYDERABAD, NOV. 30. The State Government would soon be enforcing a ban on smoking in public places and consumption of gutka. Disclosing this to presspersons, Dr.N. Janardhan Reddy, the Minister for Medical and Health, here on Friday said that the SC decision would be implemented to make the State healthier.
Dr. Janardhan Reddy said another major problem confronting the nation - AIDS - would be tackled effectively through special drives. He said it was imperative that the subject was introduced in school curriculum to educate children.
The incidence of AIDS was growing very fast and the State which saw the first case reported of HIV positive in 1986 was now second in the country with 3.5 lakh cases. Out of 3.8 million cases in the country, 87 per cent constituted the age group of 14-44 years. Those less than the lower limit were 3.6 per cent and those above the upper bracket were 9.4 per cent.
This proved beyond doubt that the high risk group was the teenagers and hence, inclusion of the subject in school curriculum would go a long way in educating youngsters about the dangers. The five major components of ``war against AIDS'' were targeted interventions for communities at high risk, prevention of transmission among general populations, provision of low cost community-based care to people living with AIDS, capacity building and inter-sectoral collaboration.
The department would henceforth focus on surveillance, blood safety, voluntary testing and counselling centres, NGOs, STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) management and care and support centres. The support centres had been established in five places, Freedom Foundation, Hyderabad, Women's Initiatives, Tirupati, St.John's Hospital, Prattipadu, Bhavani Educational Society, Mungamur Junction, near Kavali and Andhra Mahila Sabha Hospital, Nandipet, near Gudivada.
On the occasion of the World AIDs' Day celebrations several activities had been taken up including competitions for students in elocution and essay writing. Members of self-help groups had been included in the programmes.
A rally would be taken out from Nizam College on Saturday evening to Ravindra Bharati. The Minister released literature in this connection with the theme 'I Care...Do You ?' to impress upon the people the need of the hour.
On the Pulse Polio Programme, the Minister said the State had attained a remarkable progress in this regard and the strategies adopted were found to be successful as in the last two years no case of polio was reported. The next two rounds of immunisation would be held on December 2 and January 20. Estimated children to be covered were 105.85 lakh. There were 62,533 booths to administer polio drops, he said.
The Minister promised quality service in Government hospitals and directed the officials to keep a watch on the functioning of the staff in Government hospitals. He appealed to the medical and health staff in the State to work dedicatedly and help the poor. He said hospitals administration would be streamlines further and erring personnel would not be spared.
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