IMPHAL, June 3: A three day conclave entitled, “North East Conclave” organised by the Manipur State AIDS Control Society in collaboration with the department of AIDS control, government of India was inaugurated today at the Classic Hotel, Imphal.
The conclave will conclude on June 5 at the same venue.
Delivering the keynote address, deputy director general (TI) department of AIDS control, Dr Neeraj Dhingra said among the North Eastern States, Manipur has shown the highest estimated adult HIV prevalence of 1.22 percent, followed by Mizoram (0. 74 percent) and Nagaland (0. 73 percent).
The NE states have an estimated total of 63,049 HIV infections, the highest being in the states of Manipur (25,369) and the lowest in Sikkim (593), he said.
The annual new infections in NE states have increased from 5,549 in 2001 to 6,460 in 2011. This is opposite to national trend where an overall decline of 57% has been recorded in the same period and it is a big concern over this issues in NE, he added.
He said India is committed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in reducing HIV mortality and the country is making significant progress in achieving the goals with its focused efforts through the National AIDS Control programme, NACP.
He further said that the main objectives of the conclave is to bring together the policy makers, implementers, community and other stake holders to discuss the gaps and issues in the implementation of programs, to identify and list the problem areas, discuss and list the methodology to resolve the problems, etc.
Speaking at the meeting Oussama Tawil said that he had come over for the meeting to see the reality and conflicts that people from NE states are going through.
He further said that UNAIDS will continue to give priority and focus mainly on NE states and largely try to resolve the issues in longer terms and will extend all the possible help regarding education, economic and other health issues.
The inaugural day of the conclave was also attended by State chief secretary, PC Lawmkunga, principal secretary department of Health and Family Welfare, Sukhel Akhtar, Country co-ordinator UNAIDS India, Oussama Tawil, president, Mizoram Drugs Users Forum, Lalduhawma, president, CONE, RK Nalinikanta, joint secretary, DAC, KB Agarwal, CDC, V Sampath Kumar.
Others who attended include officials from department of AIDS control, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, senior government officials from all eight States of the North Eastern Region.