Concern over rising AIDS/HIV cases in Mizoram

Aizawl: Mizoram Governor, DoNER Ministry Secretary and the Civil Societies have separately expressed their concern over the rise of AIDS/HIV cases in the northeastern state, bordering Myanmar and Bangladesh, officials said on Friday.

DoNER (Development of North Eastern Region) Ministry Secretary Inder Jit Singh said that the Mizoram government has to make massive effort to check the growing spread of AIDS/HIV in the bordering state.

Singh, who is now on a three-day visit to Mizoram to study the ongoing projects funded by the Union DoNER Ministry, on Thursday called on state Governor P.S. Sreedharan Pillai at Raj Bhavan here and discussed the rising AIDS/HIV cases in Mizoram among other issues.

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Singh said that the growing cases of AIDS/HIV in Mizoram are a big problem that needs to be attended immediately with all out efforts.

The top leadership of the Young Mizo Association (YMA), a most influential body in Mizoram, recently met the governor and sought his help to strengthen cooperation between the government and NGOs in order to fight against drugs abuse and HIV/AIDS on a war footing.

YMA President Vanlalruata told IANS over phone on Friday that according to the Mizoram State’s AIDS Control Society around 2.04 per cent of state’s total population is HIV infected.

“We are not sure whether the data on HIV/AIDS is correct or not, but a war-footing measures needs to be taken by all stakeholders to check the spread of the dreaded disease,” the youth leader said.

The YMA leaders apprised the governor that the free movement of people along the India-Myanmar border villages has led to an increase in the supply and smuggling of drugs from Myanmar.

Mizoram has an unfenced international border of 404 kms with Myanmar and 318 kms with Bangladesh. While the Border Security Force guards the Bangladesh border, the border with Myanmar is secured by the Assam Rifles.

With 10,91,014 population (2011 census), Christian dominated Mizoram is the second least populous state in the country.

The Governor while addressing an official function here said that HIV/AIDS has become a major problem and needs to tackle this problem on a war-footing manner.

“We need to create mass awareness and movement to ensure that this disease is rapidly checked and its growth arrested. I appreciate the efforts of the church, NGOs and voluntary organisations in tackling this menace, and I believe, if we join our hands together, we can win this battle,” the Governor said.

He said that the state government has recently launched an improved Mizoram State Health Care Scheme which aims to provide health insurance to beneficiaries especially economically backward classes and every citizens must make the best use of this scheme.

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