‘Harness power of communities, provide amply budgetary support’

DIMAPUR, NOVEMBER 30 (MExN): On World AIDS Day, which is observed on December 1, Nagaland Government has been urged to harness the power of communities to end HIV by 2030 in pursuance to this year’s theme, “Communities Lead”  and also provide ample budgetary support for proper implementation of policies. 

In a press statement, NNaga DAO president and Director, Kirpa Foundation Abou Mere reflected that Drug and HIV response in the last three decades in Nagaland has taught us that communities play a critical role in the catalysing change. 

Mere said community leadership engagement needs to be fully supported and their full potential unleashed for HIV prevention, testing and treatment by building their capacity in governance, leadership development, program management etc. 

“A wide range of support from all key stakeholders is required, recognizing the need to facilitate in the process of defining actual needs, by tapping communities' experience and knowledge, customized local need-based services for effective intervention. Key population communities stand ready to play their part (to lead), but need our support in building healthier and more resilient society,” the press statement read. 

While acknowledging the contribution made by the State Government, NACO/NSACS, PEPFAR (United State Government) and all the development partners for rendering their help and extending a robust partnership and played critical role with various intervention; harm reduction, testing and treatment, advocacy, capacity building, technical assistance and innovation program, Mere however pointed out that HIV prevalence and new infection of the state remain a concern on the ground and we look forward to continued support.

It also called for revisiting and amending the Nagaland HIV/AIDS policy, and Nagaland State Substance abuse prevention and Treatment policy, with full compliance to the HIV/AIDS Act 2017, National guidelines, human rights standards and norms, provide budgetary support for implementation of the said policies. 

Mere said key population communities leaders are sensitive to the fact that resources are limited and tied to very specific agendas, however for greater impetus to the  HIV response, advancing progress towards the end of AIDS , its need adequate funds; scale up intervention and programs, compliance with fundamental rights and respect of human dignity.