Special Correspondent

One health motivator to handle 5,000

SALEM: Officials from the Office of the Joint Director of Health Services here have decided to strengthen the health watch and surveillance mechanism in the villages and hamlets of Yercaud hills following reports on increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the tribal populations in the State.

Awareness drive

An official said that health inspectors had been asked to fan out to the villages to create awareness among tribals about the viral infection. For a population of 5,000, one health motivator also had been assigned to conduct awareness programmes. "Among the various acts, the promotion of condom use would be given priority," said a motivator who was asked to collect data on the prevalence of HIV-positive cases in hill villages. He said that two places had already been identified for placing condom depots. Fair price shops had been asked to supply condoms to the people. Vazhavanthi and Nagalur tribal villages would be the centres of action from where the health teams would cover the tribal populations.

The Salem Collector, A. Sukumaran had allotted Rs 800 for each block for conducting awareness campaigns in the hills. Rural health inspectors and maternity nurses were also to monitor the health situation closely, the official said. A comprehensive report on the reported prevalence of the scourge would be submitted to the Collector.