Minister Paiwang chairs State Council on AIDS meeting, stresses need to address drug use and addiction in state

Kohima: Minister launches ‘Health on Bikes, Reaching the Unreached’ for 7 districts

BY | Friday, 7 June, 2024

The State Council on AIDS was conducted its first meeting on the 6th June, 2024 under the chairmanship of the Minister Health and Family Welfare, Nagaland, P. Paiwang Konyak, DIPR has informed. SCA was reconstituted on 22nd June 2023 with the Minister of H&FW as Chairman and this is the first meeting.

The main objectives of Thursday’s meeting were:

1) To provide policy direction to the HIV & AIDS Programme in the state

2) To mainstream HIV & AIDS in all departments by considering it as a development challenge and not merely a public health problem

3) To have a multi-sectoral response to HIV & AIDS in the state in partnership with civil society organizations, industry and donors

During the meeting the Minister Paiwang Konyak emphasized the critical need to address drug use and addiction in the state and proposed the inclusion of the Home Department in the SCA for better coordination and support. He stressed the importance of early HIV testing and detection among pregnant mothers to initiate timely treatment and protect new born babies from HIV. The Chairman encouraged leveraging social media platforms and influencers for widespread dissemination of HIV awareness messages.

Konyak also assured that the SCA will have its regular meeting from time to time to provide political and administrative support at the highest level for HIV/AIDS response in the state.

The first body of the State Council on AIDS was formed on 11th June 2008 under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister, Nagaland. Two meetings were been conducted on 29th April 2009 and 12th October 2012.

Highlighting the on-going HIV prevention and control activities in the state, Dr. Ahu Sekhose, Project Director of NSACS, said that NSACS has rolled out MoUs with 12 departments, working closely with them to meet state-specific needs and requirements. He also mentioned that under the National AIDS Control Program, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, which has signed MoUs with 18 departments at the Ministry level.

Dr. Bernice D. Thapru, Joint Director (Prevention), NSACS, provided an overview of the HIV and AIDS program in the state.

The meeting also underscored the need to initiate specific social protection schemes and benefits for people living with HIV in Nagaland.

The concluding remark was given by Joint Secretary, H&FW, Renabomo Odyuo.

The State Council on AIDS meeting was attended by representative from the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Food and Civil Supplies, Higher and Technical Education, Rural Development, Transport, Labour and Employment, Social Welfare, Law and Justice, School Education and SCERT.

Following the meeting, Minister Paiwang Konyak launched ‘Health on Bikes, Reaching the Unreached’.

The 7 bikes which were launched are meant for seven districts including Mon, Shamator, Kiphire, Zunheboto, Phek, Wokha and Peren, to provide comprehensive service packages in difficult areas to fast track the achievement of the three 95s.

95-95-95 is the UNSAID target for 95% of all people living with HIV to know their HIV status, 95% of all people diagnosed HIV infection to receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 95% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy to viral suppression by 2025.

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