`Methadone OST implementation in the state to be discussed in Assembly`

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IMPAHL, August 2: A one day constituency level convention on HIV/AIDS for Churachanpur A/C was conducted today at Synod Hall, Lamka, Churachanpur organized by the Manipur Legislator Forum on HIV/AIDS (MLFA).

The convention was attended by minister of power/horticulture Phungzathang Tonsing, chairperson ADC Churachanpur Langkhanpao Guite and MLA and secretary MLFA Dr. I Ibohalbhi Singh as chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively. 

Speaking at the convention secretary MLFA, Dr. I Ibohalbi has said that the main purpose of the formation of MLFA is to help eliminate the issue of HIV/AIDS from the state. He added that the stigma and discrimination is one amongst the many reasons which has hampered the prevention and intervention of HIV/AIDS. 

He stated that he would not agree with the point that stigma and discrimination is not visible in CCpur district.

He also said that the newly drafted state Aids policy 2011 has high possibility of approval in the upcoming assembly session. He added that MLFA also has the vision to invite NGO, CBO, CSO, faith-based-organizations and other agency for discussion and suggestion on the policy.

He added that to improve the intervention programme in the state, MLFHA members had also visited various learning centers of Harm Reduction in Australia and Malaysia recently. He stated that MLFA has seen the effectiveness of Methadone Oral Substitution Therapy for Injecting Drug Users’ as intervention of HIV/Hep C which are in use in this countries.

Further he maintained that MLFA will try to discuss in the coming assembly session on how Methadone OST can be implemented in the state.

He further stressed upon the need for establishing blood banks in all districts of the state for the peoples’ conveniences. He also expressed his gratitude to late Dr. Mauna of SHALOM for his contribution and dedication in prevention and intervention activities of HIV/AIDS in the district.

In his address during the convention in Paite dialect, minister of power/horticulture Phungzathang Tonsing has said that the state govt. also take the problem of HIV/AIDS seriously. He stated that considering the issue of HIV, even 60 MLAs of the state has contributed one lakh each for the prevention and intervention in their own constituencies. He also asked people to work concertedly to combat the epidemic. 

Speaking at the function, Sushil Kumar, state coordinator UNAIDS/MLA forum has said that CCpur has one of the highest concentrations of HIV/AIDS general population. He also said that 77 percent of injecting drug users of the district is living with Hepatitis C. He said that the treatment for Hep C is expensive and unaffordable by many people.  He also stressed on the need of providing free treatment of Hep C by the state government like providing free ART to PLWHA.

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