Budget puts KSAPS in busy mode

Budget puts KSAPS in busy mode

Society working out options to reimburse travel charges to Aids patients

The Karnataka State Aids Prevention Society (KSAPS) is working out the logistics to provide conveyance charges to more than 65,000 people living with HIV, after the State government announced in the budget that it will bear their travel costs.

According to KSAPS officials, approximately a sum of Rs six crore has been allotted to help HIV patients who visit ART (anti-retroviral treatment) centres at least 12 times a year. Bus passes can be issued, but there is the problem of confidentiality.
There is also the option of issuing coupons to patients at the ART centres.

The third plan is reimbursing the bus charges at the ART centres after patients produce the tickets. In Bagalkot district, nearly 250 patients visit ART centres regularly. To implement any of the plans, there is a need for dedicated staff, the officials said.

The State government has also decided to continue National Aids Control Orgsnisation’s (NACO) ‘link worker scheme’, which is presently being implemented through CDC and USAids intervention programme.

The funding of the programme is expected to end by March 2012. After this, the government will extend support to continue the programme. For this, it has allotted another Rs six crore.

Asha workers

According to S Selva Kumar, project director of National Rural Health Mission, around 1,000 child deaths occur in the State every year, but the health department is unable to keep track of the accurate figures through Asha workers.

Under the Central government scheme, Asha workers were given Rs 50 as incentive to report child deaths accurately.

The same incentive has now been increased to Rs 500 in the State budget, so that Asha workers report child deaths accurately.

To tackle deficiency of iron and iodine among pregnant women and lactating mothers in the State, the government has proposed free supply of double fortified salt through the public distribution system.

Using double fortified salt with iron and iodine can prevent iron deficiency, anaemia and iodine deficiency disorders.

These salts will also be provided in all food and nutrition programmes like Integrated Child Development Services and mid-day meals in schools.

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