BHUBANESWAR: Director of National Health Mission (NHM) Dr Arun Kumar Panda on Monday asked Health Department to complete HIV test of all pregnant women in the State by December-end.
Dr Panda, who took stock of the HIV and TB control programmes in the State here, said HIV test of pregnant women during ante natal check-up is important to protect newborns from its impact.
The review meeting revealed that at least 0.25 per cent of the population in the State is HIV-affected. So far, 67,645 persons are known to have contracted the virus and annually, the number goes up by 3,000. About 40,205 of the HIV-affected are at different stages of AIDS of which 24,726 are men and 15,479 women.
More significantly, at least 78 per cent of the HIV-hit are in the age-group of 25 to 49 years. At least, 2,467 are under 14 years whereas 2,092 are pregnant women.
Dr Panda also emphasised on improved identification of TB patients in the State so that the treatment cover could be provided to them without waste of time. The Government and non-Government healthcare providers must take more steps since there is a need to change the approach towards tackling the menace of TB.
As per the information circulated in the meeting, about 48,000 new TB patients are identified in the State every year, but 20 to 30 per cent remain out of the coverage of national control programmes which is a matter of concern.
Since the Government of India has set a target of eliminating TB by 2025, identification of those out of the coverage area is important.
The NHM chief said the Health Department must make full use of the Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CB-NAAT) machines which have been provided to the State. All the vacant posts must be filled up while funds should be utilised by March-end.
Secretary, Health Department Dr Pramod Kumar Meherda called for convergence of testing both HIV and TB.
The NHM Director said the Centre will constitute a 10-member committee which will visit the States and submit its recommendations basing on which fresh measures would be undertaken to control both the diseases. Director, Health Services Dr Kailash Dash was also present at the meeting.