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NH-39, drug trafficking route: Azo

School students queuing up to explore Red Ribbon Express (RRE) at the railway station in Dimapur. Inset (L) Nagaland minister for health & family welfare, Kuzholuzo (Azo) nienu and (R) Member of Parliament Lok Sabha C.M Chang speaking at the inaugural function of Red Ribbon Express at Dimapur railway station on Thursday (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, Jul 1 (NPN):
Published on 2 Jul. 2010 12:52 AM IST
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Nagaland minister for health & family welfare, Kuzholuzo (Azo) nienu Thursday said National Highway 39 was “an infamous” drug trafficking route, a contributing factor to the AIDS problem in the state.
Addressing the inaugural function of the Red Ribbon Express (RRE) at Dimapur Railway station on Thursday, Azo said the geographical location of the state along the “golden triangle”, unsafe sex practices and lack of awareness on HIV and AIDS were three other factors that have contributed in making Nagaland the second highest AIDS prevalent state in the country.
However, the minister asserted that the rate of HIV and AIDS has been declining steadily from 1.83 percent to 1.20 percent within the past few years.
“Our target is to reduce it to less than 1 percent within the next two to three years,” he said.
Azo also lauded the efforts of NGOs, the NSACS and LFA, stating that they have been footing to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS through various platforms.
Lok Sabha MP, C. M. Chang, who also spoke on the occasion as guest of honour, said the turnout at the RRE would negate the notion that the people of Nagaland were not concerned about their health.
He expressed hope that RRE would go a great extent in creating awareness on various diseases, which would help in creating a healthier Naga society.
Later, the chief guest along with the MP and other officials visited the RRE coaches.
Meanwhile, students, NGOs and general public who turned up to visit the coaches, however expressed their disappointment as almost all the medium of information were written in Assamese. Even the audio and video clips were displayed in Assamese language.
“It could have been more user-friendly,” commented an official of a leading NGO.
Some RRE officials, who later contacted Nagaland Post, admitted that there were some “communication gap” between NACO and NSACS regarding translation of the medium on the display. They further clarified that translation in English was attached in separate sheets of paper.

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