Rio for leadership against HIV/AIDS
Our Correspondent | EMN
Kohima, August 7
NAGALAND Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio on Wenesday called for the state legislators to provide political leadership to fight HIV/AIDS.
“Political leadership is must because we represent our people and therefore we have to bear the responsibility of creating awareness and also conducting advocacy workshops,” he said while addressing the Annual General meeting of Legislators Forum on AIDS (LFA) at the Capital Convention Hall Kohima.He said the legislators who have contributed Rs. one lakh towards the fight against HIV/AIDS was a first step of political will and encouraged the members to take leadership in their respective constituencies.
He also asserted that though the prevalence rate in the state has come down to 0.78%, ‘we are heading towards the goal of attaining ‘zero new HIV infection’, ‘zero discrimination’ and ‘zero AIDS – related deaths’.
“We will be sensitive to the cause of HIV/AIDS in our State to bring down the prevalence rate from 0.78% to below 0.5% by 2015 and we will then move towards “Zero” target and achieve our ambitious goal by 2018,” Rio added.
Expressing serious concern on the issue of stigma and discrimination the Chief Minister felt that church platform can be one of the most effective forum to look into stigma and discrimination, stating that church was a common platform where people have faith in the organization.
Rio who is also the Chief Patron of LFA, and appreciated the elected members for their contribution, political leadership and advocacy towards HIV/AIDS. While expressing happiness to the NLA for being the first to form LFA showing an example to the other States, Rio reminded them of the huge challenge to achieve the target.
He also suggested for having a curriculum so that children from young age can start to learn the problems and affects of HIV/AIDS and be aware of the consequences.
Nagaland Legislative Assembly Speaker and Convenor of LFA Chotisuh Sazo in his welcome note said that although HIV prevalence rate in our State has come down from 1.20% to 0.78% there was no room for complacency expressing concern that in certain districts HIV infection was increasing. “Transmission through sexual route is alarmingly high in Nagaland and we need to find out the cause of this and addressed it appropriately”, Chotisuh reminded.
Minister for R&B, Kuzholuzo Nienu who was the Convenor of LFA during NLA-2011 gave an overview of LFA performance, achievements and challenges . Azo also informed that LFA presently partners with Nagaland Development Outreach (NDO) under NBCC for training church leaders in the cause of HIV/AIDS. LFA also partners with NSACS, Project Orchid, UNDP for training of Police personnel, he further informed.
Others present on the occasion included the Project Director NSACS, Dr. N.L. Changkija, Medical Officer, ART, Dimapur Civil Hospital Dr. Hutoka highlighted and Dr. Vinito L. Chishi .