| 'Mankind will be able to achieve near eradication of HIV/AIDS'
From our Correspondent
DIMAPUR, Aug 17: Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar has expressed the hope that with concerted efforts, mankind will be able to achieve near eradication of the dreaded disease HIV/AIDS.
The governor who inaugurated the 3rd phase of the Red Ribbon Express (RRE) Train in Nagaland at Dimapur Railway Station on Friday said that India, which once figured high in the list of countries infected by HIV/AIDS, had in the last ten years been able to reduce the HIV prevalence rate by almost 50 per cent.
“This is a remarkable achievement and India’s efforts have been appreciated world wide”, Kumar said.
Kumar also congratulated Nagaland government and various agencies for bringing down the prevalence rate in the state from 1.5 per cent to 0.87 per cent in the last three years. It may be mentioned that Nagaland which occupied the second slot among states with highest HIV prevalence rate has presently climbed down to sixth position.
The governor hoped that the day is not far off when the society would be AIDS free.
While stating that the State government is alive to the burning issue of HIV/AIDS, the governor also appealed to the people to be alive to the menace of the dreaded disease.
Kumar said the public in general are the most important stakeholders in the fight against the dreaded menace of HIV/AIDS as without their active support and cooperation, any initiative against HIV/AIDS would prove to be a futile exercise.
Further, in the fight against the dreaded disease, the governor said the focus should be on migrant labourers, BPL families and people in interiors areas as these people are the most vulnerable section of society.
The governor accompanied by Nagaland minister for Health and Family Welfare, Kuzholuzo (Azo) Nienu, and other officials also visited all the seven coaches of the RRE train. Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Kuzholuzo Nienu, in his keynote address attributed the success of healthcare and declining order of HIV/AIDS in the state largely to the constant support and concern of the Governor and Chief Minister.
The minister informed that Red Ribbon Express (RRE), the first of its kind to disseminate information about HIV/AIDS through a train, was launched in India on World AIDS Day (December 1) in 2007. Azo said RRE is the world’s largest multimedia, multi-sectoral mass mobilization campaign to mainstream the issue of HIV/AIDS through train. RRE is a special exhibition train which comprises of seven coaches.
The minister said the objective of the 3rd phase of RRE is to disseminate information regarding primary prevention of HIV and Services, develop and understanding about infection to reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS; strengthen people’s knowledge about the measures to be taken to prevent HIV/AIDS and adopting preventive health habits and lifestyle.
Deputy commissioner, Dimapur, Husheli Sema who chaired the inaugural programme also delivered welcome address.