On World AIDS Day, the Health Department introduced the Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai and the Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai, to monitor the supply chain management of blood and blood products and launched a computerised registry and mobile application with details of voluntary blood donors.
Health Minister Ma. Subramanian said, “This is the first time in the country that a State government was implementing such an initiative.” The possibility of introducing the devices in other institutions in future will be looked at.
Speaking at an event organised by the Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society in Chennai to mark the World AIDS Day on Thursday, Mr. Subramanian said as per the announcements made in the Legislative Assembly, the RFIDs were launched at the two hospitals at a cost of ₹2.08 crore to monitor use of stored blood and prevent use of blood that has reached the expiry date.
The registry and the Tamil Nadu Blood Donors app, developed at a cost of ₹10 lakh, will have details of repeated voluntary blood donors and their blood groups.
“In India, the HIV prevalence is 0.24%. Tamil Nadu has a HIV prevalence of 0.18%. Though it is below the national percentage, the State government aims at reducing the prevalence further,” he said. The State has 1,24,000 persons living with HIV/AIDS, he pointed out.
A trust that was started in 2009 with a fund of ₹5 crore to support children with HIV/AIDS has corpus fund to the tune of ₹25 crore now. The interest from this fund is used to extend financial assistance of ₹1.04 crore for 3,500 children living with HIV/AIDS every year. Financial assistance was provided towards the education and nutritional support of children, he said.
Member of Legislative Assembly I. Paranthamen and Health Secretary P.K. Senthilkumar were present.
This year’s theme
A number of government medical college hospitals observed World AIDS Day that runs on the theme of “Equalise” this year. At the Government Medical College Hospital, Omandurar Estate, a pledge was taken with a signature campaign to treat HIV-affected individuals with equality.
Hospital dean R. Jayanthi, along with faculty members, nurses, hospital staff and medical students participated.
Similarly, hospital authorities and staff of Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital took a pledge at an event held to mark the day. E. Theranirajan, dean of the hospital, was present. The Hindu