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An article in TOI today speaks of how the Planning Commision has recommended that NACO be merged with the National Rural Health Mission. The reasoning-a report suggesting that all centrally funded disease specific programs be merged under NHRM.

Is it really going to help? Personally,I don’t think so. The success that National Aids Control Organisation has achieved in spreading awareness and restricting the deadly virus has mainly been because of the focused efforts of the organisation. With the virus still rampant, AIDS control programme has a long way to go. In such a situation, merging the programne with the NRHM will dissolve its efficiency. Like several other health programs, the amount of red-tapism involved in getting any grants/drives approved might cause delays that leave India’s fight against the disease paralysed. While the proposal has left both NACO and the urban health ministry unhappy, the Planning Commission is still confident of pushing through the proposal.

Where exactly are we headed? In our attempts to follow recommendations blindly, are we forgetting the purpose behind the programme; to be able to identify the causes and curb them at the root? Is Planning Commission’s clout sufficient to pull through a supposedly harmful proposition?

I guess, all we can do for now is wait and watch!


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