BSF continues 'battle' against malaria, HIV/AIDS

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Guwahati, May 30 (UNI) With over 8,000 malaria cases detected among BSF personnel in the Northeast last year, causing 12 deaths, the border sentinels' medical wing has swung into action to check its recurrence.

HIV/AIDS also remains another major health concern for the BSF, with the NE identified as a 'catchment' area of the virus.

Malaria infections are increasing in the NE and the BSF medical corps is pressed into action, not only to check it among our personnel but also help the people in the border villages to fight the disease, Inspector General (Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland frontier) P K Mishra said here today.

Of the total malaria cases in the BSF in the NE last year, Tripura had the highest with 6480 cases, while Assam-Meghalaya recorded 1140 cases and Mizoram-Cachar, 1255 cases.

Of these, nine deaths occurred in Tripura, two in Mizoram-Cachar and one in Assam-Meghalaya.

New Delhi-based Director (Medical) of the BSF Dr RS Rathore added that besides malaria, HIV/AIDS was another major virus to afflict the force in the NE.

Altogether 345 BSF personnel had been diagonised with HIV/AIDS virus in the country, he informed.

However, it is difficult to identify the most vulnerable area as the personnel are transferred constantly, Dr Rathore said, adding the NE was among the more prone areas.

Underling the BSF's medical help in border areas, IG Mr Mishra said the personnel manning the (Border Observation Posts) BoPs are instructed to provide medicines and evacuate any civilian detected with malaria or any other disease in the border areas.

All the BSF personnel, who proceeded on leave were provided with a packet of medicines for the preliminary dose in case they were detected with malaria after reaching the hometown, he added.

He further informed that jungle hats, fitted with medicinated nets, were provided to the BSF jawans in the region to fight mosquito bites, the source of the malaria germ.

Mr Mishra and Dr Rathore were talking to reporters during a day-long regional medical conference on Tubercolosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases and Malaria at the DIG headquarters here today. Altogether 35 senior doctors of the BSF in the region attended the seminar.


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