HIV patients in Orissa covered under pension scheme

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 6 (UNI) Like widows, aged and disabled, HIV positive people in Orissa will henceforth be getting a monthly pension of Rs 200 from January 2008.

The pension would be provided to the HIV infected people under the recently launched Madhu Babu Pension Yojana, a state sponsored scheme announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Orissa States AIDS Control Society(OSACS) has furnished the detailed list of the HIV positive people to the state government and accordingly the District Collectors had been asked to distribute the pension, irrespective of their age and employment.

OSACS Director Dr Parmeswar Swain told UNI that in the first phase 6132 HIV positive people would be provided with the monthly pension of Rs 200 from January 2008. As per the HIV Status of Orissa till September 2007 as many as 7372 people (4786 male and 2582 female) had been detected with HIV positive and a majority of them, nearly 54 per cent reported from Ganjam(2790) and Cuttack (1197) districts.

Except the Boudh district all the rest 29 districts in Orissa have reported HIV positive cases. The tribal dominated Koraput had 423 HIV positive cases followed by Khurda(379), Sambalpur(312), Rayagada(224), Puri (216) and Balasore (203), official sources said.

Dr Swain said migration was more prominent in the districts of Ganjam, Khurda and Nayagarh which have high percentages of HIV positive cases.

The government, he said, had set up as many as 14 kiosks in the high migration blocks of Ganjam district and five in Nayagarh district for dissemination of information relating to the HIV case.

The Orissa government has also introduced a scholarship for the children of HIV infected parents to enable them to continue their education.

The distribution of pension to the HIV positive people in the state would be monitored by the Women and Child Development Department under the guidance of the OSACS which would update the figures from time to time and supply the names of the HIV infected people.

UNI DP KK MSJ ND1638

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