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Meghalaya spends Rs 29.24 crore for 2021-22 for tackling Covid-19 pandemic: Malik

Addressing the Assembly on the first day of the budget session, Malik said the Chief Minister's Secretariat had taken a number of initiatives under Chief Minister's Special Development Fund and Chief Minister's Special Grant during the financial year 2021-22.

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Shillong: The Meghalaya government has spent over Rs 29.24 crore for 2021-22 as on January, 2022 for tackling Covid-19 pandemic in the State, Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Friday.

Addressing the Assembly on the first day of the budget session, Malik said the Chief Minister’s Secretariat had taken a number of initiatives under Chief Minister’s Special Development Fund and Chief Minister’s Special Grant during the financial year 2021-22.

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“Under the Chief Minister’s Special Grant (CMSG), a total of Rs 29.24 crores was spent on expenditures relating to Covid-19 for the year 2021-22 as on January, 2022,” he said. This includes an assistance of Rs 50,000 as a one time ex-gratia payment to the next of kin of those who lost their lives due to Covid-19 with effect from April 1, 2021, Malik added.

Further, the Governor informed that Rs 4.7 crores was spent under the CMSG for payment of provision kits for those under home quarantine and for Community Covid Management Teams.

“The year 2021 had witnessed up-gradation and improvement of health care infrastructure across the state. These include COVID-19 Step Down Hospital at Umsawli, Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Ganesh Das Hospital Shillong, Emergency and Casuality Wing at Tirot Sing Memorial Hospital, Mairang, Liquid Medical Oxygen Plant at Jenjal and Umsawli. Hundred-bedded health facilities have been completed in Tura, Shillong and Khliehriat. Four new primary health centres have been set up at Lawbah, Marmain, Kasiabari and Raksamgre. State-of-the-art diagnostic centre at Pasteur Institute has been set up,” the Governor pointed out.

Touching on the Maternal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality Rate in Meghalaya, Malik said the government has taken significant steps to reduce infant and maternal deaths with continuous efforts to save the lives of mothers and children due to various interventions made in the health sector, especially the innovative ‘Meghalaya’s Outcome Oriented Transformation in Health, Nutrition, Education and Rural Development (MOTHER), To track pregnant mothers for increasing institutional deliveries and reducing maternal and infant death, he said the State government rolled out the MOTHER program in all districts of the State.

“Over 1,41,374 mothers have been tracked so far and about 28,000 mothers are tracked at any given point of time. This has resulted in reduction in maternal death by 9 per cent and reduction in infant death by 21 per cent in 2021 as compared to 2020,” the governor said.

Malik informed that the government has initiated the Meghalaya Health Systems Strengthening Project funded by the World Bank with the aim to infuse around USD 40 million in a span of five years to strengthen the overall health system.

He said the objective of the project is to improve management capacity, quality, and utilization of health services in Meghalaya. “Till date, works worth Rs 45 crore has been awarded for strengthening the infrastructure of health facilities across the State,” Malik informed.

He further mentioned that the State Government has introduced the Meghalaya State Health Policy, 2021 with the aim of improving the health systems and focus on positive health care with equal attention paid to preventive and curative health care. 

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