State allocates Rs 1.65 cr for purchase of dual HIV test kits

kolkata: As part of HIV and syphilis testing program for expectant mothers during pregnancy, the state health department has allocated a fund of about Rs 1.65 crore for procurement of dual HIV and syphilis test kits in various districts over the next six months.

In an order issued Monday by the health department, it was specified that the kits should be purchased as a priority and that the districts will have to place orders online through the department’s SMIS portal.

As part of the promotion of universal HIV and syphilis screening, different health centres, sub-centres and primary health centers will carry out the screening.

The state government has already sanctioned Rs 1,65,29,640 for the purchase of HIV and Syphilis Rapid Diagnosis Dual Test Kits.

According to health department data, an estimated annual pregnancy in Bengal remained at around 16,32,170 in 2021-22.

Of these, Murshidabad witnessed the highest number of pregnancies of around 1,78,664 for the same period

tracking 1,62,919 pregnancies reported by South 24-Parganas and Diamond Harbor health districts combined.

Malda recorded around 1,13,667 pregnancies in 2021-22.

The target of the WHO, of which India is a signatory, was to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV (PLHIV) knew their status. Around 90% of them are on life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 90% of those on AET are virally suppressed by the end of 2020.

By 2030, it aims to make ART accessible to

every PLHIV that reduces the viral load in their blood to undetectable levels. This will result in a negligible risk of transmission.

North 24-Parganas had an estimated annual pregnancy of 94,329 in 2021-22 while Basirhat Health District recorded about 43,703 pregnancies.

The health department order said that Murshidabad will get the highest amount of funds over Rs 18 lakh while Malda will get over Rs 11 lakh for the purchase of dual test kits.

South 24-Parganas will receive a fund of Rs 10 lakh while Diamond Harbor Health District will receive a fund of Rs 6.44 lakh.

Cardboard boxes will be given to the districts containing the dual kits. Each box will contain approximately 50 test kits.

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