13 May 2010
Expressing deep concern over the high prevalence rate of HIV (1.20%) in Nagaland at present, Minister for health & family welfare Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu today, called for collective effort to bring down the prevalence rate to the bottom–line in the country.
Speaking at the advocacy campaign on HIV & AIDS with stakeholders under the aegis of Legislator’s Forum on AIDS– Nagaland here, the minister asserted that the state which ranked the 2nd highest in HIV/AIDS in the country is a matter of drawback and shame. Topping the chart in terms of infrastructure and development is good sign but figuring as high prevalence rate in the country is a matter of shame, Azo regretted and called for united effort to bring down the prevalence rate.
Azo, who is also the convenor of LFA said the Forum cannot do alone, adding that it require the involvement of the whole section of people to combat the menace.
A time has come for all the people to put “our head together” and put down the prevalence rate, the minister said. Also referring to various campaign and awareness campaign being held across the state on HIV and AIDS, the minister called upon the people act, adding that just attending such programmes for name sake will not bring any positive impact. You have to act and implement it, he said. He also stressed on the need to change the mindset of the people, adding that Nagas are generally reluctant to come out in the open. In this, he called upon the people to be open minded.
Nagaland, which is situated in the corridor of the Golden Triangle as been found to be vulnerable to the deadly virus therefore if it is not properly dealt with, Nagas would face the danger of being wiped–off from the face of the earth, he said. Earlier, the minister told the gathering that various developmental activities is going on across the state under the leadership of Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and called for support and cooperation of the public to the DAN government.
Also speaking on the occasion, Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) deputy speaker Ralanthung Yanthan called upon the people not to discriminate those persons affected with HIV/AIDS. He also called upon the infected people to reveal their status so that they can avail proper treatment being extended by government and various agencies in the state. He also appealed to the Churches to play important role in creating awareness on HIV and AIDS, adding that Church platform can do a lot in spreading awareness to the masses.
Earlier, HIV & AIDS scenario in Nagaland with special reference to Wokha district was highlighted by Dr. Tinurenla, Deputy Director NCACS while Dr. Vinito L. Chishi, state coordinator LFA, Nagaland briefed the role and activities of LFA. The function was chaired by CYSA president Robin Ezung.
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