Tuesday, June 25, 2024

‘AIDS related issues should be tackled upfront’


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By Our Reporter

 SHILLONG: With an improvement in trade and commerce, the emergence of dreaded diseases like AIDS has acquired a common place in the society of West Khasi Hills, a transmission of which is being spread mainly by truck drivers besides unhealthy lifestyle, observed West Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner S Kharlyngdoh.

Kharlyngdoh was addressing a one-day awareness programme on the theme ‘Live life meaningfully’ with regards to substance abuse organised by the Shillong Press Club, Nongstoin Chapter, in collaboration with the Meghalaya AIDS Control Society (MACS) and the district administration at Nongstoin on Thursday.

Kharlyngdoh pointed out that though the number of drug users and AIDS victims in the district is still less, yet there is a need to address this problem before it assumes dangerous proportions.

He called upon the youth to spread awareness on the harmful effects of substance abuse while asking them to highlight the dreaded consequences that may result following negligence.

On the same note, West Khasi Hills Additional Superintendent of Police, D Kharwanlang, stated that the alarming increase of drug abuse in the district with over 500 users as per the statistics provided by the State Police has raised the concerns of many including the police.

“It is a fact that when a person is a drug addict, he/she will have to sustain himself/herself but due to the high cost of purchasing the same, the person would tend to adopt various other means to sustaining himself by committing crimes like theft, burglary, robbery and the likes,” Kharwanlang said.

It was learnt that at present, there are 16 AIDS victims in West Khasi Hills and these are the ones who have undergone testing but there are many unreported cases due to the fear of coming forward to get themselves tested.

Meanwhile, District Medical and Health Officer Dr P Lyngkhoi highlighted the meaning, effects and consequences of drug abuse and HIV and AIDS. He also called upon the people to avail the facilities provided by the government through MACS.

Highlighting the root cause of substance abuse, Pastor TT Diengdoh of the West Khasi Hills Church Leaders’ Forum said a person is usually drawn to substance abuse from experiences, peer pressure. He also stressed on the role of parents stating that if either a mother or father is a drug addict or an alcoholic, then the same addiction will surely be passed on to their children.

The programme was attended by members of the Shillong Press Club, resource persons from MACS, college students, school students, headmen of various localities, besides others.


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