Islamabad, November 30, 2012 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), Engr. Shaukat Ullah Khan has said that the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) disease is a global issue that could only be combated by improving level of awareness among poor segments of the society and close coordination among countries to wipe out this deadly ailment once and for all.
Addressing as chief-guest in function held in connection with World International AIDS Day here at Sheikh Zaid Islamic Centre, University of Peshawar.
The Minister said that AIDS and HIV virus has no geographical borders and joint strategies and support was required among the countries and different health institutions working for prevention of HIV to protect people from this deadly disease on permanent basis.
He said social, cultural and religious barriers are the main causes in our country and emphasized upon more work on education, prevention, testing and treatment to completely halting its spread. He said great responsibilities lied on shoulders of religious scholars, media and teachers to improve level of awareness among masses in this regard and stressed on improvement of public awareness for prevention of this disease.
The Federal Minister said that the government has taken a number of measures to prevent and control AIDs and HIV in the country. This year, the theme of World AIDS Day 2012-15 is “Getting to Zero” by striving for zero new infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths he added.
The Ceremony was also addressed by Vice Chancellor University of Peshawar Professor Dr Qibla Ayaz, Secretary Social Sector Dr Aftab Akbar Durrani and officials of National AIDS Control Programme and Directorate of Health Services FATA. A large number of people, health practitioners and members of civil society attended the function.
The speakers highlighted the disease spread through shared intravenous syringes for taking drugs, unsafe blood transfusion, unprotected sex and from parents to children. They underscored the need for active role of media, civil society, academicians and religious scholars to prevent AIDS and HIV disease.
They told that According to UNAIDS 2011 estimates, the number of people living with HIV in Pakistan is 98,400, out of which 28000 are women and 3000 children under fifteen years of age.
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