New Delhi , Aug 26 : Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Monday stressed the need for a sub-department of health in all the ministries as the Health Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry for enhanced HIV/AIDS outreach.
"As health is the responsibility of all Government departments, there is a need for 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," Vardhan said according to an official statement.
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed an MoU with the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment (DoSJE) under Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MoSJE).
The MoU was signed by Special Secretary and Director General (NACO and RNTCP) Sanjeeva Kumar and Additional Secretary (DoSJE) Upma Srivastava.
"The MoU will help in developing human resources and build capacity in order 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," he said.
The minister added that it will 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 populations.
The Union Minister further said that it aims at reducing the incidence of social stigma and discrimination against victims of drug abuse and children and people living with HIV/AIDS.
"It aims to promote enabling environment based on no stigma and discrimination," he added.
Vardhan also urged for synergies and alliances to be forged with various stakeholders in order to learn from their best practices and appreciated NACO for its notable achievements.
"NACO has played a very big role in significantly reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the country, and that too faster than the global rates, Vardhan said adding that the impact of the programme has been significant with more than 80 per cent decline in estimated new infections from the peak of the epidemic in 1995," he said.
Vardhan added that the government is fully committed to meeting all the set goals to eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030.
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