NNP+ holds advocacy prog with KCCI
KOHIMA, MARCH 28
KEEPING in view of the necessary support from all fronts to address the issue of HIV and AIDS, the Network of Naga People Living with HIV and AIDS (NNP+) today organized an advocacy programme with the Kohima Chamber of Commerce & Industries (KCCI) in the conference hall of LCS Building, Kohima.Delivering the welcome note, Ella Mary from Youth Action for Rural Development (YARD), who was the facilitator of the programme, underscored that addressing HIV and AIDS is a concept that needs to be discussed beyond the NGOs working in related fields. She stressed on the need for people to discuss how, as a community, they could help the victims. She said statistics only indicate enrolled numbers and many PLHAs are yet to come out due to stigma and discrimination. People have to realize that PLHAs are able and capable to contribute to society.
Sharing briefly about the organization and its functions, NNP+ president, Naomi Semy, said the organization which was formed in 2002 by seven positive members with the aim to bring together people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHAs) and to improve their overall quality of life by giving a human face to the epidemic, has now 4692 members enrolled today. Naomi, who is known as the driving force for PLHAs in the State, disclosed that the major challenges that the PLHAs face includes stigma and discrimination, fear of disclosure of status, income, self-stigma and denial, and inability to access services owing to geographical barriers. She expressed concern that the present HIV and AIDS prevalence rate in Nagaland is high with 0.88% (Source – NSACS). She also informed that there are district level networks under NNP+ in all the districts except Longleng, working for the welfare of PLHAs.
KCCI vice president, Zhabu Sekhose, gave an overview of KCCI, its services and functions while an introduction to Vihaan Care & Support programme was delivered by programme manager Vihaan, Bendang.
Later, an interactive session was held and KCCI members assured the NNP+ of their support when the latter would require.