A.P. campaign against AIDS from Feb.15
By Our Special Correspondent
HYDERABAD, FEB. 2. Focus on preventive rather than curative universal access to primary healthcare, containing communicable diseases and greater awareness to battle the HIV/AIDS scourge, are the highpoints of the strategy paper on health, 2002-03.
It gloats over the achievements in the past five years, citing appreciable decline in the incidence of major diseases and population growth.
Articulating the objectives and goals of the sector as enshrined in the strategy paper and the draft budget of the department at a press meet here on Saturday, the Minister for Medical and Health, N. Janardhan Reddy, said a high profile campaign (family health awareness programme) against HIV/AIDS would be taken up from February 15, and aired confidence that it would be possible to contain AIDS incidence. He cited the remarkable success of Thailand in the recent past. AIDS awareness would also be made part of school curriculum and use of condom for safe sex encouraged.
Dr. Janardhan Reddy said the efforts and strategies had paid off over the years with the result that prevalence of leprosy was brought down from 124 per 10,000 in 1983 to 4.43 /10,000 now, there had been no guinea worm cases for 5 years, polio cases dropped from 50 to nil in the same time, life expectancy at birth was up from 45.6 to 64 in 30 years, infant and maternal mortality rate as well as mortality due to communicable diseases had declined. Malaria, TB, diarrhoea, acute respiratory disorders and malnutrition continued to be sources of major ailments.
Allocations for the sector tripled in six years from Rs. 560 crores to Rs.1,500 crores and its share of the total public spending was up from 6 to 8 per cent.
Dr. Janardhan Reddy said the outlay for 2002-03 was projected at Rs. 1331.85 crores - down from Rs. 1472 crores (Plan and non-Plan) the previous year. The decline was attributed to completion of two major projects- the AP First referral Health Systems Project and AP Economic Restructure Project.
The proof of success of the population control measures lay in the Census report 2001 which put the decadal growth rate in AP at 13.86 per cent against the all-India figure of 21.34 per cent. Over 400 PHCs were strengthened to function round the clock and handle deliveries.
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