Gangtok, 12 Aug:
Sikkim Drug Users’ Forum (SDUF) accused the State Health Department for derailing the crucial HIV prevention programme run across the State by Aids Control Society of Sikkim in South Sikkim by transferring its two employees who oversees the implementation of programme.
In a press release, President of SDUF, Rinzing Bhutia said that HIV prevention and other programmes are facing a huge setback at the Jorethang OST centre of the Jorethang Hospital and HIV testing at the ICTC of the district hospital, Namchi, South Sikkim, due to the unwarrantedly transferring staffs in those two facilities, under the programme of the Sikkim State AIDS Control Society (SSACS).
Sikkim Drug Users’ Forum (SDUF) further said that they had approached the Health Minister, Dr MK Sharma last month urgency to revoke the transfer order and re-instate the earlier staffs at their respective work settings and alleged that the Health Minister did not initiate any remedial measure to the request, despite the several and persistent effort put in by the Forum.
Government of India has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic by the year 2030, in line with the UNAIDS Goal of achieving the 90, 90, 90 target. This Goal in the state of Sikkim will remain a far cry, if the person in charge and is the “leader figure” to be taking the Health Department in the right director, is on the other hand making such unwarranted moves with vested interest. This in turn will rather cripple the entire HIV response in the state. Such act of irresponsibility is highly condemnable.
SDUF, through this press release reiterate that such unwarranted move by the authority is “uncalled” for and ongoing negligence from by the higher authority, Dr MK Sharma, greatly disrupts the continuity of effective HIV service deliveries. It poses a great risk to the lives of people who are currently under the purview of the service and has the potentiality to escalate the spread of HIV, in the near future. SDUF, therefore, called upon the Health Minister to sort out the mess he created, before the situation reached to the level of state Health Crises.
"Failure to initiate positive response to this, the health Minister will be held accountable for any loss of lives and the spread of New HIV infection in the state," warned SDUF.