Udupi: “The district has ranked first in the State in tackling the AIDS epidemic. Bagalkot and Koppal districts are next in the rankings. Large-scale awareness programs will help in bringing the disease completely under control,” said Udupi district Deputy Commissioner G Jagadisha.
He was speaking after inaugurating an event held here on the occasion of the World AIDS Day which was jointly organised by the district administration, Zilla Panchayat, Health and Family Welfare Department, District AIDS Control and Prevention Unit, District Legal Services Authority, Udyavara’s Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Ayurveda & Hospital, Red Cross, National Service Scheme, Citizens Helpline, District Hospital and Bengaluru’s Udbhav Saishanika Mattu Graminabhivradhhi Sanstha.
He said the government has launched a variety of schemes, including the availability of credit, to make life easier for HIV-infected people. More work will be done in raising awareness about HIV through campaigns at National Highways, bus stands and hotels. People infected with the novel coronavirus will at least live but those infected by HIV have to live an ostracised life.
Regarding COVID-19 spread in the district, the DC said, a review will be conducted of areas in the districts where COVID-19 is spreading fast to prevent the pandemic from reaching the second phase. It has been decided to consider all attendants of a marriage or mehendi ceremony as primary contacts if even one of them tests positive for the virus. The health department has been instructed to test all of them in such cases.
Zilla Panchayat CEO, presiding over the event, said that people must enthusiastically come forward for blood donation. Donated blood is tested to check for HIV or other abnormalities. Adding that the government has decided to eradicate tuberculosis by 2025, for which a campaign will be held throughout the district in December.
District Health Officer Dr Sudhirchandra Suda said that the district’s AIDS positivity rate decreased from 7.9 per cent in 2008 to 0.43 per cent at present out of these 0.3 per cent are pregnant women. 12 ICTC Centres and 64 Primary Healthcare Centres are conducting HIV tests in the district.
Prior to the event, a charming parade was organised from the town’s Board High School to the town hall via KM Road which was inaugurated by senior civil judge and secretary of District Legal Services Authority Kaveri.
Students from Red Cross youth wing and SDM Ayurvedic College participated in the parade. Several dignitaries were present during the event.
Matharu Ramesh Kini, Raviraj Nayak, Dr Swarnalatha, Dr Anil Kumar S, Vasanthi, Prashant, Basavaraj, Dr Mohammed Faisal, Satyanarayana, Shivaraja C Devadiga and most frequent blood donor B Ashok Pai were honoured in the event for the work in the AIDs control program.