New Delhi, Dec 1 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dr Bharati Pawar on Wednesday emphasised on the need to focus on and tackle gender and other inequalities, and discrimination against high-risk groups, and work to provide social protection to the infected and affected AIDS population.
Aligning with the theme of World AIDS Day 2021 “End Inequalities. End AIDS. End Pandemics”, she said: “For ensuring Jan Swasthya, it is important to collate our efforts in a strategic manner for achieving our goals by leaving no one behind as desired by Sustainable Development Goals.”
Pawar chaired a ceremony, organised by National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), to observe the World AIDS Day along with Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan.
About the history of HIV-AIDS in the country, she said: “As you all know, the first case of HIV in India was identified in 1986 among female sex workers in Chennai. In the same year, the Government established the National AIDS Committee under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Thereafter, in 1992, the government established the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) to oversee policies related to HIV and AIDS, to oversee prevention and control programmes and to implement the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP).”
“Since then, the NACP has been implemented in India as a comprehensive programme for prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. The program has been extremely commendable and has achieved success at the world level. Friends, I am proud to share that during NACP-IV, policy makers and program workers from over 20 countries have visited NACO and its implementation sites to learn from our programmes,” she added.
Pawar also released the National Operational Guidelines for ART Services 2021, National Guidelines on HIV Care and Treatment 2021, National Technical Guidelines on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, and other guidelines on ART Services and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis under the National AIDS Control Programme.
The Health Secretary emphasised on the fact that inequalities and diseases are interlinked. “Reduction in inequalities give rise to access of healthcare services and access to means of economic and social livelihood, which ultimately decrease the effect of diseases,” he said.