Tuesday, February 7, 2023

State AIDS policy needs update: Manipur Governor

Correspondent

Manipur Governor La Ganesan on Thursday stressed the need for updating the state AIDS policy as the state joined the globe in observance of the World AIDS Day.
The state level observation was held at 1st Manipur Rifles Parade Ground in Imphal. State Governor La Ganesan, chief minister N Biren Singh, health minister Dr S Ranjan, ministers, MLAs, officials, NGOs and people from across the state attended the observance.
Addressing the occasion, the Governor said that the HIV and AIDS issue was no longer a mere health issue. It has covered all aspects of life-social, economic, legal, human rights and even political.
“It is the responsibility of the society at large, particularly women, to have a greater involvement in the fight against HIV and AIDS to safeguard the future of Manipur,” he said.
The all-out and concerted efforts of the health officials and concerned activists of the state will not be sufficient in tackling this issue, he observed.
The civil societies have to be actively involved, he said and appreciated the role of Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and agencies during the last more than two decades in providing preventive services and care to the people.
Without the active role of the NGOs, the situation would have been worse, he worried.
The Governor said that Manipur was the first and only state in India to have a state AIDS policy as early as 1996.
“Now time has come to relook the policy,” he said, calling suggestions and comments from the experts and intellectuals in the field.
The updating of the policy will be of immense help to society in mitigating the menace of HIV and AIDs in the state, he added.
The Governor also appealed to the young people, particularly women, to become more and more aware of HIV and AIDS issues and also to participate actively in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
On the occasion, the Governor also launched HIV/Syphilis dual screening in “Chief Minister’s Health for All” Scheme and handed over the testing kit to the state nodal officer.
Chief minister N Biren Singh, in his address, raised concern about what would be the future of the state while pointing out the increasing number of injecting drug users especially among the youths in the state.
“It is a matter of serious concern and all should join hands to stop such acts,” he said.
Noting seriously the involvement of cadres of armed underground groups under suspension of operation truce with the government in drug trafficking, Singh said that his government will not tolerate such acts.
“All those who are involved in the act will not be spared,” he added.
He said that the state has been facing HIV/AIDS with the support from all quarters.
Though the rate of infection has relatively been down, efforts should be made to make people aware of how we can fight the dreaded disease, he suggested.
Singh said, “We should be very serious in fighting the disease and people living with HIV/AIDS should be taken care of with love.”
The chief minister informed that door to door checking of HIV/AIDS will be conducted under the Chief Minister’s Health for All Scheme and appealed to people to join hands in the efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.
Many NGOs working in the field of HIV/AIDS also observed the day at their levels.

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