Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu on Monday announced that the inmates lodged in jails and juvenile homes in the state will be provided Rs 5 lakh medical cover under the 'HIMCARE' scheme.
He also launched a campaign for screening of inmates for sexually transmitted infections (STI), HIV, tuberculosis and Hepatitis.
As many as 3,218 prisoners lodged in 14 jails in Himachal Pradesh and 1,278 inmates of juvenile homes, Nari Niketan and drug rehabilitation centres across the state would be screened and treated for these diseases under the Integrated STI, HIV, TB and Hepatitis (ISHTH) campaign by June 14, he said.
Sukhu also provided Himcare cards to the prisoners at Model Central Jail Kanda near Shimla.
The registration of inmates under this scheme has been initiated and a 100-per cent target would be achieved shortly, the chief minister said.
Himcare scheme provides free healthcare services up to Rs 5 lakhs annually to families which are not covered under the Centre's Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Jan Arogya Yojana.
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He said that the state government will cover the cost of premiums for inmates in prisons.
The state government is also planning to introduce a scheme aimed at educating the children residing in Bal Sudhar Grih, Sukhu added.
To make the ISHTH campaign successful, teams have been formed at the district level and the Health Department will provide free counselling, treatment and medicines for HIV, TB, STI and Hepatitis patients lodged in the jails during the campaign, he said.
Sukhu emphasised that timely treatment is necessary to prevent the spread of infections in society after the release of inmates.
"The state government is making all-out efforts to eradicate these diseases and moving forward to achieve the target of eliminating AIDS by the year 2030," he said.
The chief minister also awarded the winners of the AIDS awareness competition organised for the jail inmates on the occasion.
Earlier, Sukhu inspected the exhibitions of the products made by the inmates. He garlanded the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the jail premises and planted a 'Rudraksh' sapling.
Appreciating the campaign, Youth Service and Sports Minister Vikramaditya Singh said that momentum will be given to the awareness campaign to make the youth aware of HIV and its prevention.
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