HIV prevalence rate in Nagaland higher than national; official calls for increased testing
Kohima, Dec. 1 (EMN): On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2020, the principal secretary for Health and Family Welfare and chairman of Nagaland State Aids Control Society (NSACS), Amardeep Singh Bhatia, called for re-dedication of efforts in the fight to reduce the prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS.
The official was addressing World AIDS Day 2020 event at the directorate of Health and Family Welfare in Kohima on Tuesday. He said that the fight in the form of prevention, elimination is like a ‘relay race’.
Bhatia said that despite many interventions, there are still challenges while pointing out the prevalence rate in the state is higher than the national rate.
He underscored the need to increase testing in collaboration with the National Health Mission (NHM) so that each pregnant woman is tested and ensure zero infection among children.
Bhatia said that this calls for re-dedication of the stakeholders towards achieving targets that would eliminate HIV and Aids.
The principal secretary also urged the department to ‘uphold the tradition of National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) to achieve its targets and deliver services’.
President of KNP+, Yhuni, stressed on the need for better accessibility by way of enabling community drug dispensary at block-level.
She expressed concern over the discontinuation of Legislators’ Forum for Aids (LFA); and appealed for more support from religious organisations. She cited the support rendered by the Chakhasang Baptist Church Kitsubozou (CBCK) and Union Baptist Church (UBC) by way of providing nutritional needs and support.
Special financial grant
On the occasion of World AIDS Day 2020, ‘one-time special financial grant for education’ was disbursed. Joint director (IEC), NSACS, Metevinuo Sakhrie said that the grant would support one academic year of select children who are affected by HIV.
She informed that 42 children identified from all the districts will be supported through this special grant.
At state-level too, ‘one-time special financial grant’ to 33 PLHIV families, especially women living with HIV, whose livelihood has been affected during the pandemic, was given.
It was informed that the identification and selection of the recipients were made by the district committee headed by the chief medical officer (CMO) with district-level positive networks, DAPCU office, development partners, NGO partners and others as members.