Stakeholders urge better networking among PLHA

Dimapur, February 28 :  With focus now shifting more towards care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA), the Naga Network of Positive People living with HIV/AIDS (NNP+) held a consultative meeting with stakeholders in Dimapur today at Tourist Lodge.

Understanding the need of PLHAs, several non-governmental organisations, government departments, the Dimapur Municipal Council, mediapersons and individuals attended the meeting which dwelt on the much needed support and care for PLHAs in Dimapur district. One of the main concerns of those present at the meeting was the need to have better communication and networking between various organisations in order to avail the necessary facilities for PLHAs.

Despite efforts to eradicate stigma and discrimination on the virus, little has been achieved, DMC counsellor Lipok Pongen said during the meeting. He suggested that hoardings in different Naga languages should be put up for greater awareness among general public and assured help of the civic body in regard to putting signboards up. He also urged that the campaign on stigma and discrimination should be much stronger.

Some of the NGOs who attended the meeting pointed out the commitment of all organisations and expressed that unless there is implementation of a state policy for PLHAs, there is not much that the organisations can do in this respect, and urged that NNP+ should push forward for speedy implementation. Pointing out the lack of communication between various organisations, the meeting strongly felt the need for NNP+ and its branches to make themselves more vocal in claiming their rights.

Nutritional support for PLHAs was also another crucial subject of discussion, wherein most participants felt the need of such facility to be provided irrespective of income. Doctors present at the meeting also suggested that the funds received from the legislators’ forum on HIV/AIDS should be used for long term investment, in order to support the PLHS economically. Ways to address the problems of affected people were also pointed out by NGOs.

NNP+ meanwhile projected its expected outcome during the meeting where it hoped for better ways to achieve their target and improve the overall quality of life of PLHAs by bridging gaps. There were also recommendations from various corners on availing services especially from the district hospital.