Health organisation wants revised targeted intervention budget for Nagaland
Says grievances and concerns placed before the government of India have gone ‘unheard and unattended’
Dimapur, Feb. 17 (EMN): Despite Nagaland’s alarming data, year after year, concerning the prevalence rate of HIV and Aids, the performance of the union government’s targeted intervention (TI) projects continue to raise more questions than hope—much to the chagrin of non-governmental organisations working with people living HIV and Aids (PLHIV) in Nagaland.
On Sunday, the Network of Nagaland Drugs and Aids Organisations (NNagaDAO) issued a representation to the additional secretary and director general of National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) and Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP), department of Health and Family Welfare, listing the problems by PLHIV as well as welfare workers in Nagaland.
It has asked for release of ‘backlog’ TI projects of the 2015-16 financial year; and reminded that the TI staff were mainly from the ‘key populations,’ working as peer educators and outreach workers and are solely dependent on their salary for their livelihood.
“We urgently call for expansion of the laboratory at the Naga Hospital Authority Kohima, Nagaland by installing a viral load machine, as a monitoring tool to provide quality management system, and to improve access to routine viral load testing, and achieve HIV viral load suppression, and for timely detection of PLHIV who are eligible for second-line/third-line ARV treatments.
“Revise entire targeted intervention budget, with special attention to the salary enhancement of the staff, PE incentives and chief functionaries’ honorarium, and to replace the old computers and laptops of the TI projects,” read the representation.
It stated that the frequent “stock outs” of ARV drugs in Nagaland was a major concern and a serious matter concerning the very survival of the PLHIV as it may lead to virological failure resulting in ARV drug resistance. “…therefore we request you to do away with the middleman (CMSS) system and also ensure there is no stock out in future.”
The organisation appealed to the official to immediately implement the “HIV co infection with HCV prevention and treatment programe supported by global fund across the state.” It requested to honour the decision of the Technical Resource Group to introduce a low threshold strategy for take-home dosage of buprenorphine for optimum uptake.
“Looking at the NE-India HIV epidemic and to accelerate in achieving the 90-90-90 target, there is a need to strengthen the existing TSU, therefore we would like to propose to have our own state TSU, which can provide technical expertise to TI and to the whole HIV programme in the state.
“Many a times our grievances and concerns are unheard and unattended, therefore we request your able leadership to setup a grievance redress system (cell) in Naco and SACSs for key populations and civil societies,” it requested.