Nagesh Prabhu

It is pleased with the performance of the highway improvement and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan projects

The Rs. 21.6-crore IDS project launched in 2004 is expected to end in 2010 Training of 2,645 medical officers, 13,007 health assistants and 1,229 laboratory technicians has been slow Bank suggests six-point action plan to implement the project effectively

BANGALORE: The World Bank is not satisfied with the progress of two health projects in the State the Integrated Disease Surveillance (IDS) and the Food and Drugs Capacity. But it is pleased with the performance of the Karnataka State Highway Improvement and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan projects.

The progress of the World Bank-aided IDS project was slowed down during the past six months as the project director went on long leave. The expenditure had also been slow, and so far, the State received Rs. 4.02 crore advance from the Centre. The Rs. 21.6-crore project was launchedin 2004 and is expected to be end in 2010.

The objective of the IDS project is to create awareness among authorities of Government health services and private healthcare providers regarding diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, as well as other common risk factors for these diseases, with a view to improving the grassroots responses to them.

In a letter to Chief Secretary B.K. Das, World Bank Country Director Michael F. Carter has said training of 2,645 medical officers, 13,007 health assistants and 1,229 laboratory technicians had been slow under the IDS project. Earlier, the State agreed to complete training by this month-end.

The bank has suggested a six-point action plan to implement the IDS project effectively. It said the project had reached a critical phase and it is important to ensure sustained leadership. Project Director Benita V. David went on leave for six months and Chandra Mohan, Director of Reproductive and Child Health (RCH), was made in-charge of the project during the period.

Upgrading laboratories and improving laboratory surveillance activities was one of the components under the IDS project. The bank said the current estimates of civil works for strengthening laboratories at the district level were made in 2004. In the light of the proposed State Health Project, the Bank suggested to the State to reassess the need for civil works at primary and community health centre levels.

The progress had been slow on activities related to involvement of medical colleges and private sector in disease surveillance, Mr. Carter said.

Under the Food and Drugs Capacity Building project, the bank said the State had to create and fill posts of microbiologist, public analyst and laboratory attendant (one each) and 10 junior scientific assistants. The State should fill the staff positions that were agreed under the project, the Bank said.

Under the project, the allocation for the State is Rs. 4.23 crore and the project was expected to complete by 2008.

The renovation of the drug laboratory in Bangalore was progressing slowly on account of the delay in shifting the underground electrical cables. Mr. Carter said the Rs. 13.5 lakh released by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare through the State AIDS Control Society for meeting incremental costs such as purchase of laboratory consumables and salaries for contract staff had not been utilised.