The Raghubar Das cabinet on Wednesday cleared the proposal for buying of 7.22 lakh family size long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to be distributed among the families in order to keep vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue at bay.
The health department officials said that the decision was taken in the wake of the fact that the supplies, as committed by the Government of India, were not arriving. This is the first time state is procuring the LLINs. In fact, the state had received nearly six lakh LLINs last in 2011.
An official communication said that the cabinet has cleared approval of 7,22,152 family size LLINs. “Since then, at least nine lakhs and then another 18 lakh LLINs were committed to us by the Centre last year. However, there was apparently some technical problem due to which supplies were not arriving. Our requirement is huge. Therefore, it was decided that the state should supplement the gap, until the supplies from the Centre become available to us,” said Principal Secretary (Health) K Vidyasagar.
At least 52 blocks in the state have been identified for having an annual parasitic index (API) of over five, informed Vidyasagar. The latest estimates of the department is that at least 32 lakh such LLINs would be required.
Director-in-charge (Medical Services) Dr Praveen Chandra said: “The state would procure the LLINs from the same entity, which supplied the nets to the Centre, and at the same rate. The mapping of areas, where the need for such nets is high, has already been done. In fact, it is an old programme and the state government is procuring these nets for the first time.”
The state has been a high risk state, in so far as diseases like malaria, dengue and also Japanese Encephalitis and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome. In 2015, the state reported at least 288 such cases and one death.
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