not to be published/telecasted/broadcasted by print/electronic media before “World AIDS Day” i.e. 1st December, 2017.
World AIDS day, being observed today, is an occasion for all of us to reiterate our pledge to increase awareness about AIDS, how to prevent it and to set aside prejudices that come with this disease. Each year, this fatal disease claims lives of a large number of people globally. Pakistan also faces a challenge in combating this disease.
The Day calls for renewed determination by the Government, health practitioners NGOs and the people to prevent HIV infections and ensure access to safe, effective, and affordable quality medicines and diagnostics and related health commodities as well as healthcare services for all people in need.
Effectively combating HIV & AIDS requires that everyone should have equal access to information about preventive measures and the available treatment programs. It calls for concerted efforts involving the parents, teachers, religious scholars, media and indeed every segment of the society to work together and thereby save millions from the consequences of this disease.
Unfortunately, healthcare systems in most of the developing countries fall short of providing even the most basic health services. As HIV is an issue of global concern it is important that the international community specially focuses on AIDS prevention and cure in developing countries to make the whole world HIV & AIDS free. The theme of World AIDS Day this year is appropriately titled “Right to Health” to ensure access to treatment for all without discrimination.
As a result of the 18th Constitutional Amendment, health has been devolved to provinces. I am confident that the federal and all provincial governments are cognizant of their responsibilities and accord high priority to health and cure of this disease. It is heartening to learn that Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination is making concerted efforts to address various risk factors associated with HIV/AIDS.
One of the factors inhibiting fight against AIDS is the stigma surrounding HIV resulting in discrimination against the patients. On this Day, let us pledge to work towards zero discrimination against patients suffering from HIV.
I urge all stakeholders to work in unison in fighting this disease and help make Pakistan HIV & AIDS free.
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