Gearing up for AIDS-free generation – – AIDS Day celebrated in Lahore
LAHORE – Like other around the world, the World AIDS Day was observed across the country Monday to raise awareness and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries.
The Day is observed on December 1 every year under different themes to renew the commitment to fight against the menace. The 2014 theme for World AIDS Day is ‘Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.’
Seminar, workshops and walks were arranged across the country including Lahore both at the private and government level to mark the day.
Speaking at a seminar arranged at a local hotel, Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Kh Salman Rafiq said that maximum resources would be provided for the control of HIV/AIDS as well as treatment of people affected by this virus. Director General Health Dr Zahid Pervaiz, Director Punjab AIDS Control Programme Dr Suleman Shahid, Deputy Programme Manager Faisal Majeed, Dr Altaf Tariq, Dr Mehmood Aftab, Dr Humayun Mirza, representatives of NGOs and a large number of people from different segments of the society attended the seminar.
Kh Salman Rafiq said that the performance of Punjab Aids Control Programme was outstanding and it would further be enhanced with the cooperation of NGOs serving in this field. He said that religious scholars, media and other notable of the society have a big responsibility of creating public awareness regarding preventive measures and proper treatment of affected patients. He said that blood bank system was being regulated to check the un-screened blood which was the major cause of spreading various diseases including HIV/AIDS. He said that Blood Transfusion Authority (BTA) has been activated and a timeframe was being given to the blood banks for registration. After that, blood banks which did not register themselves would not be allowed to work.
Director PACP Dr Suleman Shahid said that diagnostic and treatment facilities for the AIDS patients has been improved in Punjab and at present, nine centers in government hospitals of different cities were providing treatment facilities and free medicines. He said that so far 4436 patients have been registered on these centers. Moreover, six centers of PPTCT are working for the prevention of transfusion of HIV/AIDS from pregnant women to their babies. He said that government was spending Rs 1 lac on each AIDS patient. He presented a survey report of Mapping of Most at Risk Population, Punjab 2014. This survey was conducted in ten major cities of the province. He said that Punjab was the only province which has conducted this survey from its own financial resources.
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