US ambassador visits AIDS facility in Thane

Thane, Dec 2 : US Ambassador Nancy J. Powell Monday visited the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Bhiwandi town on the occasion of the World AIDS Day, an official said.

She gained first-hand experience of the work that is being done at the hospital to combat HIV-AIDS, including testing, counselling and providing free anti-retroviral drugs to the victims clinically eligible for treatment.

The US Government supports the Maharashtra government in tackling the HIV epidemic through the HIV-AIDS Partnership: Impact through Prevention, Private Sector and Evidence-based Programme project implemented through the Public Health Foundation of India.

"It is powerful to see first hand extraordinary work that is being done to combat HIV/AIDS. I am proud of our partnership with Maharashtra in tackling this challenge," Powell noted.

U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell, Consul General Peter Haas, Maharashtra State AIDS Control Society Project Director Dr. Govinda Raj and Bhiwandi Municipal Commissioner Jeevan Sonwane during a programme on HIV held at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Bhiwandi of Mumbai on on Dec.2, 2013. (Photo: B L Soni/IANS)

She said this joint effort is one of many examples of the deep partnership between the US and India to address global health issues.

"By working together to prevent, detect, and respond to disease threats, the United States and India are working hand in hand to address some of the most difficult health concerns of our times," Powell added.

Under the president's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the US government investments in India support key areas of the country's response to HIV-AIDS, including strengthening laboratory and strategic information systems, prevention and treatment services, human capacity development, public-private partnerships and global transfer of best practices.

Besides, the two governments' recent commitment to Call to Action for Child Survival will contribute to the goal of creating an AIDS-free generation.

--IANS (Posted on 02-12-2013)

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