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State fails to utilise AIDS funds
The Odisha Government has failed to utilise the funds for the last three years despite increasing assistance from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) every year.

According to the report of the Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS), while only Rs 15.44crore could be utilised out of a grant of Rs 25.26 crore received from the NACO during the financial year 2009-10, the expenditure was Rs 24.59 crore out of Rs 28.67 crore in 2010-11.

The state was able to utilise Rs 23.50 crore out of the available assistance of Rs 31.37 crore during 2011-12.

While NACO had provided Rs 30.85 crore during the current financial year to the OSACS, the expenditure was only around 27 per cent by the end of October last, the report stated.

Expressing concern over the growing menace of HIV/AIDS in Odisha, health minister Damodar Rout on has asked the OSACS to prepare an action plan to reduce the prevalence rate of the disease.

While preparing the module, programme should be on regional basis considering the rate of prevalence, he stressed.

The minister, while reviewing the implantation of the HIV/ AIDS control programme, expressed his displeasure over the tardy and non-expenditure of allotted funds. He had asked the OSACS to take steps for proper and time-bound utilisation of funds being provided by the NACO.

He also emphasized on undertaking massive sensitization campaign throughout the State for prevention of new infection.

In the awareness programme, Rout said that stress should be given on the youth and asked the authorities to involve the NGOs in the campaign, do extensive monitoring and make proper utilisation of the funds.

According to official sources, at present an estimated 26,488 persons are living with HIV/AIDS in Odisha, while around 25 lakh are affected in India.

Out of the affected persons, 16,375 HIV positive cases are male and 10,113 are female.

Sources said that as many as 1,350 persons with confirmed AIDS died during the last 20 years, while there are 1,572 cases of full blown AIDS patients in Odisha.

HIV/AIDS is not only a health related issue but also a developmental challenge for Odisha, the sources said and added that that more than 75 per cent of the total affected population is in the age group of 25-49 years.

Sources further said Ganjam is still having the highest number of HIV/AIDS affected people which accounts about 39 per cent of the total HIV detection in the State. The districts in the State have been categorized under A to D on the basis of their rate of infection.

Accordingly, while four districts, Ganjam, Angul, Balangir and Bhadrak are under A category, Balasore, Khurda and Koraput come under B and the rest districts are under C and D categories.

Source :
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