Shillong, Dec 1: Sampath Kumar, Commissioner and Secretary, Health & Family Welfare Department, government of Meghalaya and President, Meghalaya AIDS Control Society, Shillong today informed that Meghalaya ranks fifth in the country in terms of prevalence of HIV cases and second in the highest number of syphilis cases among pregnant women.
Kumar who was speaking on the occasion of World AIDS Day said that concerted efforts are required in creating awareness on preventive measures to address these health issues.
Furthermore, he cited that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought into focus the importance of healthcare and the need to strengthen the health system.
Kumar also stressed on the importance of testing and adherence to treatment.
The theme of the observation this year was ‘Global Solidarity and Shared Responsibility’.
N. A. Khan, District and Sessions Judge and Member Secretary of the Meghalaya State Legal Services Authority spoke at length above the legal framework available to protect the rights of those living with HIV/AIDS.
To mark the occasion, Freestyle for 15, an Instagram sports event contest and theme song on HIV/AIDS “Stand Up”, composed and arranged by renowned artist of the State, Lamphang Syiemlieh were launched on the day.
Prizes were also distributed to the winners of the ‘Promote HIV Testing’ contest.
Founded in 1988, World AIDS Day was the first international day for global health.
In spite of successes made, policy measures, financial resources and the coordinated efforts of all stakeholders is required to reach the goal of eliminating HIV/AIDS globally by 2030. Further, the theme of the celebration “Global Solidarity and Shared Responsibility” requires the world to come together to ensure that health is fully financed, health systems are strengthened, access is ensured, human rights are respected and the rights of women and girls, and gender equality, are at the centre.