New Delhi, Aug 26: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday hailed the role of National AIDS Control Organisation in significantly reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country, that 'too faster than the global rates' and said it has also worked with some of the most vulnerable people. Presiding over the MoU signing ceremony between NACO, under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Department of Social Justice and Empowerment under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said, "As health is the responsibility of all government departments, there is a need for a ‘sub-department of health’ in all the Ministries, a ‘sub-department of health’ in all the Ministries for health impact assessment of the policies/initiatives of these Ministries right from the conceptual stages.'
He added that the Government was fully committed for meeting all the set goals to eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030. Appreciating NACO for its notable achievements, Dr Vardhan said, "The impact of the programme has been significant with more than 80 per cent decline in estimated new infections from peak of epidemic in 1995." “Similarly, estimated AIDS-related death declined by 71 per cent since its peak in 2005. As per UNAIDS 2018 report, the global average for decline in new infections and AIDS related deaths from peak has been 47 per cent and 51, respectively,” the Minister mentioned. Emphasising on the need for innovations and newer ideas and thoughts for taking forward the fight against HIV/AIDS, Dr Vardhan said good quality knowledge and widespread awareness campaigns about the disease had contributed immensely in combating it.
Dr Vardhan said this was one of the most important MoUs. It would help in developing specific strategies and action plans for HIV and AIDS prevention and mechanisms for drug addiction treatment and extending social protection schemes to the vulnerable population. The MoU would help in developing human resources and building capacity to strengthen the service delivery mechanisms for HIV and AIDS prevention, drug addiction treatment and referral to services offered by National AIDS Control Programme and DoSJE.(UNI)