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William Gates meets Maharashtra chief minister

October 01, 2004 16:49 IST

Chairman of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William F Gates (Sr), who is on a three-day maiden visit to India to review the BMGF's project work on AIDS, on Friday met Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde.

Expressing satisfaction over the progress of the Foundation's programme in the state, Gates said more funds could be allocated if it wanted to carry out more programmes on AIDS.

The Foundation has given US $200 million for AIDS programme in India and the funds have been given for six states, which have a high incidence of HIV patients, namely Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur as suggested by the Centre.

Gates, accompanied by his wife Mimi said, the funds will be mostly used for prevention, and intervention programmes, especially among sex workers and migrants.

The Maharashtra government suggested that the funds could also be used for proper training of young doctors and medical students who will be handling the cases.

Shinde said that since Solapur, (his constitutuency) bordering Karnataka and Maharashtra, had a high incidence of AIDS, future funds could be used in that region.

Later talking to the chief minister, president of a local NGO People's Health Organisation, Dr I S Gilada said the state had to set up a comprehensive centre where research, training, prevention and rehabilitation programmes could be taken up simultaneously.

He also urged the state to ask local industries to sponsor AIDS-related programmes instead of being dependent on outside funds.

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