DIMAPUR, Feb 18 - Nagaland Minister for Health and Family Welfare S Pangnyu Phom on Monday urged the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) to consider the challenges of the Northeastern States and work out a strategy and allocate resources as per the need of each State to address the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the region effectively.
Phom was addressing the 1st North East Multi Media Campaign, organised by Nagaland State AIDS Control Society, on ‘North East United Against HIV/AIDS’ at Kohima local ground on Monday.
He said it is very unfortunate that three Northeastern States of Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram are amongst the three highest HIV prevalent States in the country.
However, he said, the leadership and commitment provided at the national level to achieve the 90-90-90 targets to eliminate HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2030 are much appreciated and well received at the State level.
In pursuit to achieve the 90-90-90 by 2020 and to eradicate HIV and AIDS epidemic by 2030, the Minister said a lot of innovative strategy and policy has been launched at the national level like ‘Test and Treat Policy’ and the passing of the HIV and AIDS Bill, 2017, was a landmark achievement of the National Programme.
Phom said Nagaland requires the technical and financial support of NACO to implement the HIV and AIDS Bill 2017 in its true sense and spirit.
Mass awareness and sensitisation among service providers, community members, public and private sector, NGOs and the general public is critical for its right implementation, he added.
The Minister said holding of the campaign on HIV and AIDS bears significance for NE as it is one of the mediums to reach out to the youths and general population with the message - HIV prevention, care, and treatment.
The State AIDS Control Society in partnership with NGOs, FBOs, private partners, law enforcement agencies and other development partners are taking up the critical role of delivering the services towards achieving the national goal at the State level, Phom said.
He said the legislators have been contributing Rs 1 lakh each to the Legislators’ Forum on AIDS (LFA) for the last ten years and committed their support till March 2019. A lot of good work has been done resulting in decline of HIV and AIDS epidemic, he added.
NACO deputy director general Dr Naresh Goel and Inspector General of Assam Rifles (North) Major Gen Pradeep Nair attended the programme as special guests.