Lawmakers should take key role in controlling HIV/AIDS:Oscar

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Imphal, Oct 6 (UNI) Union Minister of State for Labour and employment Oscar Fernandes today called upon the lawmakers to lead the nation in checking HIV/AIDS.

Addressing the second annual general meeting of the Manipur Legislators Forum on HIV/AIDS, Mr Fernandes, also chairman of the Parliamentary Forum on HIV/AIDS, said the legislators should form forums and start working in their respective constituencies to make people aware about HIV/AIDS.

Manipur and Nagaland legislators were taking a leading role by forming forums and urging people to come forward and fight HIV AIDS, he added.

''It is easy to control HIV AIDS as a single dose of medicine to infected pregnant woman can stop spread of the disease to the newly born child.

The problem is identifying the infected persons'' he added.

In a country like India where child birth in hospitals and nursing home was quite low. In Manipur it was 30 per cent and in Nagaland it was 16 per cent and the situation was the same throughout the country, he added. The onus of fighting the disease should not be the sole responsibility of the MPs and the MLAs but the Councillors, Panchayat members should also take a leading role so that the message could be sent to the grass root level, he said.

Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said the government was planning to enact a law to ensure that adequate fund was available to the legislators to carry out awareness campaigns in their respective constituencies and to ensure that blood tests be conducted for the people living in these constituencies.

''The trend is alarming in Manipur and the country as the numbers of women living with HIV AIDS have increased manifold. We need to monitor activities in the border areas specially the international border areas with Myanmar so that illegal drug trafficking and movement of militants could be checked'' the Chief Minister said.

Manipur shares 400 km of border with Myanmar and the Union Home Ministry has sanctioned fencing of border areas for only ten kilometers at Moreh, Chandel district. ''We need to immediately construct a fench in the international border if we want to protect the lives of the future generaltion'', Mr Singh said.

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