Punjab Health Minister presides over state level event on world aids day
A state level event was held today under the leadership of Punjab Health Minister Dr. Balbir Singh here at Casa La Baron, Ludhiana.
Ludhiana, December 1, 2023: A state level event was held today under the leadership of Punjab Health Minister Dr. Balbir Singh here at Casa La Baron, Ludhiana.
Addressing the gathering, Health Minister Dr. Balbir Singh said that world aids day was being observed under the theme Let the communities lead. He said that this theme stresses on significance of role of society in fight against aids.
He urged the youth to play an proactive role in this war against aids. The minister also lauds the role of NGOs while appealing them to further continue their awareness drive against social odds by connecting students.
He mentioned that the disease of aids was first reported about 43 years ago in 1981 and now this disease has emerged as a global issue.
He also said that this disease was spreading only when someone come in the contact of affected person. This disease is not only a health issue for our society but also a socio-economic issue.
The minister said that there are about 24.67 lakh HIV affected persons in the country while Punjab accounts for 62044 patients. Punjab Government was running as many as 115 IECTC centres at district hospitals and medical colleges wherein free testing facilities were being provided at these centres.
He said that one should not get panicked when diagnosed with HIV Aids as patients can live long life with medication available free of cost at 25 A.R.T. centres in the state.
The Health Minister said that a total of 41 OOATS clinics have been set up for de-addiction program to wean away youth from this menace and treatment is being provided free of cost in these centers. Likewise, 31 centers were being run for treatment of people suffering from occult diseases. In order to provide healthy blood to the needy patients, as many as 173 blood centers are being run by the Punjab government in government hospitals and medical colleges, where the donated blood is screened for 5 diseases before being transfused to the patients so that the needy patients can be protected from HIV.
He said that around 66 target intervention centres were being run to keep high risk population including sex workers, IDU, etc. from this disease.
Minister said that any kind of discrimination against HIV patients was highly unwarranted and can attract criminal action under HIV/AIDS (P&C) Act, 2017.
Meanwhile, students also presented their thoughts on this disease with an appeal to lend a helping hand to affected persons.
On this occasion, the AIDS victims also shared their experiences and told that which difficulties they had to face and today they are living a good life after overcoming those difficulties.
Administrative Secretary Health and Family Welfare Ajoy Sharma, Special Secretary Punjab State-cum-Project Director AIDS Control Society Dr. Adappa Karthik, Director Family Welfare-cum-Civil Surgeon Ludhiana Dr. Hitinder Kaur, Additional Project Director Bobby Gulati were also present on the occasion.