SHILLONG, Aug 28: The Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council (KHADC), Hispreaching Son Shylla on Tuesday clarified his statement on Khasi Hills Autonomous District (Khasi Social Custom of Lineage) Bill is one way to prevent the threat of HIV-AIDS amongst the tribals.
Shylla said that the public statement was made due to his sympathetic consideration of the victims who invariably are unaware of the dangers so that they can avail all help and support. “The statement was made to warn our minority Khasi Jaintia people so that we can take preventive measures on a scale of a social movement to create awareness as well as kick start the Government of Meghalaya to tackle this issue on a war footing. This is very important considering the concern of NACO at the present situation in the state,” the KHADC, chief said.
Shylla said that the state of affairs can be judged from the directions of the Union Ministry of Health, the Governor and Project Director Meghalaya AIDS Control Society (MACS) that screening and testing of pregnant mother’s should be mandatory. He pointed out that even though the staffs of health centres have been trained but screening and testing in a majority of these health centres has not started. “Apart from that I have come to know from reliable sources that the anti retroviral therapy drug Nevirapine syrup which is to be administered to HIV positive mothers and their babies in stock with the Meghalaya Department of Health will expire by the end of August 2018. Even in NEIGHRIMS the stocks are exhausted,” the KHADC CEM stated. According to him, the expiration of the stocks of the anti retroviral therapy drug Nevirapine syrup is alarming especially when when 20 expectant mothers who will give birth between August end and October 2018 are HIV positive. Shylla also said that for minority people, he feels that the HIV/AIDS infection is a threat that will put the small tribe at very serious risk of epidemic infection especially amongst youths.