Minister of State for Health, Shabir Ahmad Khan has said AIDS is one of the most challenging public health problems in the world and which has social, economic and development dimensions. He called for launching a strong movement against HIV/AIDS with the active involvement of various stakeholders of the society. Addressing a functions at Lawrence Public School at Sidhra here on Monday, organized by J&K State AIDS Prevention and Control Society (JKSAPC) in Collaboration with Lawrence Public School Management for celebration of World AIDS Day fortnight programmes, the Minister said that this dreaded disease is a global epidemic and has spread its tentacles throughout the country adding that the state of Jammu and Kashmir being no exception.
Shabir said this disease is consuming the lives of many people, irrespective of sex, age and class worldwide. He said collective effort is required to create awareness about the disease and how to prevent it.Highlighting the importance of the day, the Minister said the day is celebrated worldwide to renew our efforts to save the lives of lakhs of patients suffering from this dreaded disease. He said the day reminds us of our duties towards the AIDS patients and we all should take a pledge this day to adopt a sympathetic and human approach towards such patients and encourage them to lead a normal life. He said observing only one day in the name of AIDS is not sufficient, the fight against disease should continue throughout the year.The Minister called upon the private and government health institution beside chemist shop owners to take all precautionary measures including only one time use of syringes.
Director AIDS Control Society, Dr. Madhu Kullar in his address said that the main objective of celebration of this day is to inculcate among the general masses the gravity of the problem, various preventive measures they need to adopt as responsible citizens of the state for controlling and checking the spread of the diseases. She apprised the gathering about the initiatives taken by the JKSACS to combat HIV/AIDS in the State. He said the organization has been making tireless efforts to generate awareness about this dreaded disease in every nook and corner of the State through different mediums. He said encouraging indicators have come to fore and there is considerable decrease in the new HIV/AIDS cases. He also sought the help of the society to fight this disease and briefed about the steps for the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.Earlier, the function started with lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the Minister with other dignitaries present on the occasion.A skit on HIV/AIDS awareness was presented by school children with another attraction signature campaign by Times of India, besides exhibition of posters by student.
A large number of locals including school children, prominent citizens and parents participated in the function and took oath that the message for prevention from this dreaded disease will be spread in their areas so that people would not fall prey to this dangerous disease.
Prominent amongst those present included Director Health Services, Jammu, Dr. B.S Pathania, Director Family Welfare, Dr. Baldev Raj, Controller Drug and Food Organization Mr. Satish Gupta, President Gandhi Global Family, J&K Chapter, Mr. S P Verma Ex Director Health Services, Dr. Jasbir Singh, Ex Project Director JKSACS, Dr. Rakesh, Medical Superintendent, Gandhi Nagar, Dr. Ramesh Gupta and Director Defense Labour Procurement, Dr. Ravinder Singh, who also spoke on the occasion and threw light on several preventive measures against AIDS.