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Thursday, August 30, 2001

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Rural healthcare gets a big boost

By Radha Venkatesan

CHENNAI, AUG. 29. Giving a push for rural healthcare, the State Government proposes to conduct ``speciality'' health camps in all villages, provide mobile medicare in hill areas and upgrade at least 20 primary health centres into 30-bed hospitals at a cost of Rs. 12.89 crores this year.

With more rural women in Tamil Nadu suffering from aneamia, the Government will distribute iron and folic tablets to girls in the age-group of 10-17 at a cost of Rs. 57 lakhs.

While the national average of aneamia among women is 2.1 per cent, in Tamil Nadu about 3.6 per cent of women are aneamic.

Announcing the slew of schemes while replying to the debate on demand of grants for the health department today, the Health Minister, Mr. S. Semmalai, told the Assembly today that 25 healthcare vehicles would be provided for the mobile healthcare scheme at a cost of Rs. 1.13 crores.

Special clinics would be opened in 300 block primary health centres for detection of cervical and breast cancer. AIDS counselling and testing centres would be set up in all district headquarters hospital and medical college hospitals for detecting the AIDS-causing HIV for a nominal fee of Rs. 10.

A Medicinal Plants Board would be set up to identify valuable medicinal plants available in the State and enable their commercial exploitation. The proposed Board would look into the patents of herbs as well.

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