Union Health Minister inaugurates Rural Health Mela in Pondy

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Puducherry, Apr 12 (UNI) Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss today inaugurated a Rural Health Mela at Kodathur in Mannadipet commune near here.

Speaking on the occasion, the minister said the Centre had allocated Rs 220 crore to the JIPMER for construction of buildings and another Rs 400 crore would soon be allocated to enhance facilities at the hospital.

He said previously 25 per cent medical facilities could only be availed in rural areas but now the Centre has taken steps to change the scenerio.

Till the last two years the number of specialist doctors in the country were only 3,500, now it had increased to 7000, he said, adding the number of doctors in the Primary Health Centers had increased from 18,000 to 28,000 in the same time period.

Expressing happiness on the 97.5 per cent institutional deliveries in the Union Territory, he regretted that 44 per cent of the children were affected by malnutrition.

Expressing concern over the increasing level of consumption of alcohol by the youths in the country, he said previously a youth became alcoholic at the age of 27, but now the drinking habit starts at the age of 24 and in another five to six years at the age of 15 itself the drinking habit would commence among the youths.

The WHO had cautioned of dire consequences in future, he said, adding that all state governments should introduce prohibition by implimenting article 47 of the constitution.

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