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Sikkim: Women lack AIDS awareness’ (NFHS Survey)

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Women in Sikkim lack AIDS awareness'

Statesman News Service

GANGTOK, Jan. 30. — The summary findings of the National Family

Health Survey (NFHS), for Sikkim have revealed the lack of awareness

about AIDS among the Sikkimese women with only 54 per cent of them

having some idea about the dreaded disease.

The survey was done for the first time in Sikkim, between 9

December, 1998 and March 24, 1999 in the second phase of NFHS, under

the ministry of health which included samplings from 1,299

households. Sikkim was not included in the nationwide survey

conducted by the NFHS during the year 1992-93. Now, the third phase

of NHFS has given the due importance to AIDS and AIDS sampling has

been included as a part of the survey of 58 primary sampling units

(villages) in the four districts of the state.

The Mumbai-based organisation, International Institute of Population

Sciences (IIPS) which is the nodal agency for conducting the NFHS

nationwide have awarded the contract for conducting the survey in

Sikkim to Economics Information Technology (EIT), Kolkata.

The the coordinator of the Sikkim branch of EIT, Mrs Smiti B Gurung

said: " For Sikkim, we have a target to reach 1,868 women and 733

male from 1,972 households of 58 PSUs. The resource persons are

being trained in Mumbai, Ooty and Delhi and after the training, they

will be guiding the recruits in turn. The household listings will

begin by February-end and the survey is expected to be completed by

June. "

" This time, as per the directions of NFHS we will be also taking

blood samples from the targeted people which will undergo tests for

AIDS later on, " she added. Around 40 graduates will be taken for the

job of conducting the survey which will be done district-wise, she

informed. " Resource persons like Dr Chanda Gurung who are undergoing

training will be directing the survey, " Mrs Gurung said.

Meanwhile, some interesting facts have been highlighted about the

housing conditions and the standard of living of household members

in the report book of NFHS phase II, 1998-99 for the state.

In the report, it is mentioned that 81 per cent of the households in

Sikkim had electricity compared to the 60 per cent nationwide.

Again, 85 per cent of them had drinking water facilities in Sikkim

compared to 78 per cent all India basis and 73 per cent in Sikkim

had toilet facilities compared to 36 per cent nationwide.

However, the most striking analysis mentioned in the report is that

79 per cent male and 64 per cent female are literate starting from

the age of six. It is also mentioned in the report is that 61 per

cent women in the state were infected with one or other forms of



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