Around 50 pc fall in HIV cases among pregnant women

The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in India has come down from 27.3 lakh to 23.1 lakh during 2002-09, he said at the 13th annual convocation of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences here.

Prevalence of HIV among pregnant women has come down from 0.95 per cent to 0.49 per cent in the last five years, he said. Outlining the country's millennium developmental goals, he said a target was fixed to reduce mortality rate from 125 deaths per thousand live births in 1988-92 to 42 by 2015.

As per the recent data, infant mortality rate had come down to 50 per 1000 live births, which is an improvement over the 58 in 2005. "However, some states have not performed well and the in Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh is still above 60," he said.

India also aims at reducing maternal mortality rate from 437 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1991 to 109 by 2015. Under the infectious diseases control programme, two million deaths have been averted on account of TB with scaling up of DOTs programme, he said.

The biggest challenge before the country, is providing health care to the poor and covering rural and remote areas, he said. He lamented that though government had amended MCI regulations to increase availability of doctors in rural areas, these measures had not got the desired response.

Azad urged graduating students to help the rural population. There was an acute shortage of human resources at various levels, creating one of the biggest impediments to strengthening of the public health delivery system, he said.

To address this, the government has amended MCI regulations to raise maximum intake of MBBS level from 150 to 250. The availability of PG sets had been increased from 13,505 to 18,625 and the teacher-student ratio had been revised from 1:1 to 1:2, resulting in increase of 2,800 additional PG seats in various disciplines in government medical colleges from 2010-2011.

A total of 4000 PG sets have been created during 2010-11 over and above the existing capacity. Under this new dispensation, private medical colleges would also be able to increase PG seats from academic year 2010-11. About 2200 such applications have been examined by MCI and approximately 2500-300 PG seats are likely to be added in the private sector, he said.

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