36,372 infected by HIV/AIDS in state

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Source: Imphal Free Press

IMPHAL, Sep 18: A one-day constituency level convention on HIV/AIDS was held today at the Wangbal community hall in Khangabok AC organized by the Manipur Legislators’ Forum on HIV/AIDS (MLFA) this afternoon.

Speaking during the convention, the chief guest of the convention state chief minister O Ibobi Singh stated that according to information from the concerned authorities those affected by HIV/AIDS till August 2010 were 36,372 in total and 9733 among them are female while 1800 are children. The remaining are male patients. There are also six centres for ART and altogether 17,253 patients are getting the ART treatment, he said adding that only 341 patients had admitted that they were living in an affected state.

The chief minister further said that among the multiple problems in the state the AIDS infection was also one of the major problems and 60 MLAs from the various constituencies in the state were utilizing Rs. 1 lakh each from the Local Area Funds of their constituency and the amount was being used for the constituencies one after the other. The campaign is to be taken up in all the 60 constituency and till now five have been covered, he said while informing that the campaign is targeted to conclude by 2011 March 31.

Manipur is placed 6th in the list of infected states in the country and it is a matter of great disappointment, the chief minister said while stating that this was contrary to the reputation the state had as a top cultural and sporting state of the country. The state government would be taking steps to ensure that sections of the population like widows who are infected by the virus do not take to the wrong path and spread the disease among others, he said.

Rehabilitation and reformation centres are being opened in each district to cater to the needs of those who are in some way affected by the disease, he said. It was not only the NGOs and other such bodies which were fighting this menace, but even the legislators were now aware of the problem and were doing their best to stop the spread of this disease in the state, the chief minister said while appealing to the general public also to take part in any programmes related with the fight against the disease.

The chief minister also appreciated the role being taken by the various NGOs working against the disease during the function today.

The convention was made more meaningful by the presentations by the resource persons including the Project Director of the MACS PK Jha, and Medical Superintendent of the JNIMS Dr. Priyokumar.

S Thoibi, an HIV infected woman who is also the Joint Secretary of the NPM narrated her experience with the deadly disease which was transferred to her from her late husband. She said her children were fortunately not infected by the virus.

The convention was also attended by E Dwijamani, Chairman of the MPCB, I Ibohalbi, MLA Oinam, Dr. Ng Bijoy, MLA Khurai, Y Surchandra MLA Kakching, M Okendro, MLA Heirok, M Hemanta, MLA Wangjing-Tentha, O Landhoni, MLA Khangabok, K Meghachandra, MLA Wangkhem, U Deven, MLA Wabagai, and Ak Mirabai, Chairperson of the Manipur State Women’s Development Corporation.

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