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Meghalaya has 364 children HIV cases

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, June 22: Meghalaya has 8,364 HIV positive people, including 364 children. The state government shared the data with the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on Saturday.
After holding a review meeting with the officials of 15-16 state government departments, NCPCR chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said the Commission has asked the state government to examine the HIV positive children and their families. He said if eligible, they should be provided with monetary benefits.
Asked about a recent incident of gang-rape in the state, he said the Commission has requested the state government to appoint women police officials and child welfare officers since some police stations do not have adequate female staff.
On the alleged assault of women by some BSF personnel earlier this week, he said the Commission has not received such information and if needed, it will issue a notice and send a team to conduct a probe.
The Commission asked the state government to collect data on 4,000 children with disabilities and conduct a survey to find out if they lack certificates, pensions etc. The state government assured the Commission that the process of the appointment of Meghalaya State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson will start soon.
It was informed that 94 per cent of the villages in Meghalaya have child protection committees which are covered with self-help groups (SHGs). The Commission said it will hold orientation programmes for the SHG master trainers for the protection of child rights.
“We will also have workshops and programmes with the Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) on issues pertaining to child rights,” Kanoongo said.
On the high teenage pregnancy rate in Meghalaya, he said the Commission has made some suggestions, including holding discussions with the community, ADC members and SHGs to create awareness.
“We will also work with the (SHG) master trainers and the ADCs to create awareness on the POCSO Act to prevent teenage pregnancy,” Kanoongo said.
It was also informed that there are 731 pharmacies in Meghalaya selling “X” schedule drugs. Out of them, 587 have installed CCTV cameras. The Commission asked the police and the CID to keep vigil so the pharmacies cannot sell the “X” schedule drugs, which contain psychotropic substance, to children without a prescription.

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