ASACS observes World AIDS Day
Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma inaugurates e-Blood Banking System

Along with the rest of the world, Assam State AIDS Control Society (ASACS) observed World AIDS Day on the December 1, 2016 at Sri Sri Madhabdev International Auditorium Kalakshetra, Guwahati. The daylong event began with a rally that was flagged off by Mount Everest climber Henry David Teron at ASACS premises which culminated at Kalakshetra. Welcoming the huge gathering at Kalakshetra, Project Director Manvendra Pratap Singh, IAS, said, “There is no contradiction of the fact that HIV/AIDS menace has been affecting and infecting millions across globe. If we go by the UN AIDS report, at the end of 2015, where are 36.7 million people living with HIV around the globe and 1.1 million people died of AIDS-related illness during 2015.” Stressing on this year’s theme – Hands up for # HIV Prevention-, Singh said, “We should raise our hands to raise issues related to HIV/AIDS. In this age of social media revolution, we can start talking about HIV/AIDS openly and let us try to spread ample awareness and end discrimination against people living with HIV.”

Singh also spoke on the merits of the e-Blood Banking system was formally inaugurated by the Minister of Health & Family Welfare Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Speaking on the occasion as chief guest, Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “HIV/AIDS awareness must be taken to the semi-urban and slum areas where the awareness level is comparatively low. All teenagers should know about HIV/AIDS.” He also stressed on mouth to mouth publicity which is more powerful than any other medium of communication. He proposed that from next year onwards World AIDS Day should be observed in all colleges of Assam and open discussion about HIV preventions may be initiated with the help of resource persons selected from the teaching staff of the college. Minister further said that two more HIV/AIDS orphanages may be established in Silchar and Dibrugarh for the children of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIVs).

On introduction e-Blood Banking system, the Minister lauded the efforts of ASACS which will be helpful in tracking of professional blood donors. The Minister stressed that buying NAAT machines and implementing NAAT testing will involve huge costs and moreover it will not cover the entire state. Therefore, if we increase the blood donation and have a pool of healthy donors, then the possibility of getting infected blood will be reduced. Therefore, the Voluntary Blood Donation Programme will be strengthened to fight the menace of infection through blood transfusion. He also outlined the need of donor appreciation and creation of donor-friendly environment in the state.

Samir Sinha, IAS, Commissioner & Secretary to the Govt of Assam, Department of Health & FW Department said, “ e-Blood Banking is a noble step taken by ASACS and this step will bring synergy amongst all health institutions of the state.” He also outlined the achievements of ASACS in the last few months

Deputy General Manager of Luminous Infoways Pvt. Ltd, Tapan Kumar Bhol, who developed e-Blood Banking software, gave a technical overview of e-Blood Banking System. Officer in-charge CST,ASACS, Dr PD Barooah spoke on the various activities carried out by ASACS since its inception. Deputy Commandant, CRPF Ravindra was also present on the occasion.
Several best performing ASACS officials who are working in the periphery were felicitated in the function. Three best performing Red Ribbon Clubs were awarded in the event. Ex-gratia of Rs 1 lakh was given to 41 widows of People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV)

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