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LFA team leaves for Australia

The LFA team at Dimapur Airport before their departure for study tour to Australia on Tuesday.
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, APR 12 (NPN):
Published on 13 Apr. 2011 12:33 AM IST
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On invitation by the Australian Consulate, a five-member team of the Legislators’ Forum for AIDS (LFA) Nagaland led by health and family welfare minister, Kuzholuzo Nienu (Azo) Tuesday left for Australia for a meeting and to highlight the activities of LFA.
According to Azo, the Australian Consulate which visited the state last year was impressed by the activities of the LFA and felt that the Forum was doing a ‘wonderful job.’ He said the Consulate also took note of the declined HIV prevalence rate in the state from 1.02% two-three years back to 0.78 % till recently.
“They want us to share our experiences with them and they also want us to learn more on how they were dealing with HIV in their country,” said Azo who interacted with media persons at Dimapur on Tuesday before leaving for Australia. He said that the Consulate also wanted to know the functioning of the LFA and its formation.
Terming the declined HIV prevalence rate as a “good achievement” the minister attributed it to the combined efforts of the NSACS, Churches and the civil societies. He, however, said there was still room for improvement.
On the recent attempted robbery at the directorate of health and family welfare, the minister sent a clear message that the department would not tolerate or cow down to such pressures. Stating that the H&FW department was a ‘humanitarian department’ dealing with saving lives, Azo said such intimidation and extortion should not be imposed upon the department. He said that the act of the miscreants was “unbecoming” and crossed all limits. “Pointing gun is a very serious issue matter,” Azo said.
On the health sector, the minister said the state government was unable to provide ambulances to all health centres but under the NRHM programme almost all PHCs would be provided with ambulances. He said sub-centres were not entitled to get ambulances. Since the sub-centres are communitised, it has nothing to do with the department, he added.
With regard to the medical college in Nagaland, Azo said that the chief minister was seeking through the DoNER to get it materialized under special package. He said that the commissioner and secretary family welfare department was going to Delhi on April 14 to finalize the matter.
Strongly reiterating his stand on government doctors practicing in private, the health minister said that the government was ready to take action against defaulting doctors if there was any written complaint against them.
He, however, said it was alright for doctors to practice in private during their free time.
Mentioning about 2010 RoP which was yet to come up for cabinet approval, Azo said there were provisions under which the government doctors can be empanelled, terminated from service and even pay penalty if found practicing in private.
Speaking on the condition of Dimapur District Hospital, Azo admitted that the building has outlived its time and that the government was planning a project for the building. He said basic life saving drugs were available free of cost for poor patients.
Besides Azo, the other four LFA team headed for Australia includes: deputy speaker, Ralanthung, MLA Dr. Nicky Kire, MLA Joshua Sumi and state co-ordinator LFA, Dr. Vinito Chishi. The LFA team would return on April 14 to New Delhi.

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