March 01, 2007

Union Budget: More funds for rural health mission

The government's flagship National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has got increased allocation in the central budget for 2007-08 with major emphasis on mother and child care and prevention of communicable diseases.

Traditional healing systems like aurveda, yoga, naturopathy, unani, sidha and homeopathy are being mainstreamed into the health delivery system at all levels.

Presenting the budget in parliament, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said there would be major emphasis on mother and child care and prevention of communicable diseases like tuberculosis and malaria and to fund these projects he had increased the allocation from Rs.82.07 billion in 2006-07 to Rs.99.47 billion in 2007-08.

Polio, which witnessed a surge in 2006 with 666 cases, has also been integrated with the NRHM and Rs.12.90 billion has been allocated to eliminate the disease.

Chidambaram also promised that his government would undertake determined efforts to achieve zero level of growth in HIV/AIDS.

Under the renewed effort, the National AIDS Control Programme - III (NACP-III), starting 2007-08, would target the high-risk groups in all states. The minister proposed to step up the provision for the AIDS control programme to Rs.9.69 billion.

The minister also emphasised that more hospitals would provide treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child.

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