Islamabad, April 25, 2014 (PPI-OT): Mr. JVR Prasada Rao, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Asia and Pacific called on President Mamnoon Hussain at the Aiwan-e-Sadr today. The special envoy was accompanied by Mr. Steven J. Kraus, Director UNAIDS Regional Support Team, Asia and the Pacific, Mr. Timo Pakkala, UN Resident Coordinator for Pakistan, Ms. Fahmida Iqbal Khan, Community Mobilization and Networking Advisor and Mr. Marc Saba, Representative UNAIDS Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Mrs. Saira Afzal Tarar, Minister of state for National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Dr. Jehanzeb Khan Aurakzai, Director General (Health) and Dr. Baseer Khan Achakzai, National Program Manager, National AIDS Control Program (NACP) were also present.
The President while acknowledging the support of the United Nations to Pakistan towards AIDS control called upon the international community to help the developing and under-developed world in reducing the risks of the infectious disease by sharing advanced knowledge and expertise besides assisting the Governments in accessing the people of the remote areas. As HIV is an issue of global concern it is important that the international community specially focuses on Aids prevention and cure in the less developed countries, the President said.
The President remarked that the federal and provincial governments were fully alive to their responsibilities to work towards prevention and cure of the HIV and assured that the government would continue to focus on enhancing the capabilities of the health care professionals to cope with the challenges of HIV and AIDS.
Highlighting government’s efforts to combat AIDS, the infectious disease, the President said that the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, in collaboration with National and Provincial AIDS Control Programs and international partners was making concerted and coordinated steps towards prevention and cure of AIDS and addressing various risk factors associated with this disease.
Government of Pakistan will take all possible steps to create an enabling environment for people living with HIV and AIDS so that they can come for testing and treatment services, the President assured. The President called upon the concerned government institutions, civil society, philanthropists, Media and NGOs to play their active role in raising education and greater awareness about HIV and AIDS and thereby help make Pakistan and the whole world HIV and AIDS free.
The President expressed hope that the visit of UN General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Asia and Pacific would help the Government of Pakistan further strengthen its National HIV response. Mr. JVR Prasada Rao, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Asia and Pacific thanked the President for meeting and appreciated the strong resolve of the government and the various steps being taken for prevention and cure of HIV/AIDS in Pakistan.
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