CM launches anti-malaria campaign in Garo Hills

TURA: Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma distributed Long Lasting Insecticidal Mosquito Nets (LLINs) for Garo Hills region at district auditorium, West Garo Hills, Tura on Saturday.
The programme with the theme “Zero Malaria Starts with Me” was organised by District Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (DVBDCP), West Garo Hills in collaboration with NVBDCP, Shillong.
Adviser to the chief minister and MLA, North Tura, Thomas A Sangma, Superintendent of Police, West Garo Hills, Dr M G R Kumar, medical officials of all districts of Garo Hills region were among others present at the function.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister expressed his appreciation to the medical fraternity for their dedication to reduction and elimination of malaria and other vector borne diseases in the state in general and Garo Hills region in particular.
Stating that even before COVID struck the state, the government had already planned to give health sector a special priority and now, after this pandemic, it has decided to give top priority and more importance to health care and is in the process of finalising the full infrastructural upgradation of all civil hospitals, maternal and child hospital, CHCs, PHCs and Sub-Centres including technical equipment in a phased manner which will provide affordable and accessible health care facilities to the people of the region.
Further, the chief minister said that what is more important than infrastructure development are the people who make the health care system work, including medical officers to ASHAs at the grass roots level and added that the society should take responsibility and do their bit in maintaining the health care system of every citizen in the district.
He also mentioned that the present district auditorium, Tura which was inaugurated by PA Sangma in 1992 requires major repairing and therefore, a project for the construction of new auditorium is in the pipeline and construction work is likely to commence from this year, he added.
Commissioner and Secretary to the Health and Family Welfare, Sampat Kumar explained the functioning of the ASHAs which had been initiated and formed in 2007 by P A Sangma to take care of malaria-affected patients in earlier days and said that about 70 per cent of malaria patients in Garo Hills are being looked after by ASHAs in rural areas adding that they are currently also engaged in the COVID-19 battle. Further, he also mentioned that various discussions have been held to uplift the health scenario in the state.
Deputy Director, Health Services (Malaria)-cum-State Programme Officer, NVBDCP, Meghalaya Dr R Lyngdoh informed that malaria was the major health problem in the state, but in the last four years, it has drastically reduced.
She said except for South Garo Hills, incidence of malaria in other districts of the state is more or less controlled due to the sustained effort by the medical department.

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