The Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur exhorted the members of the state Assembly to come forward to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis, so as to eradicate these diseases from the society.

He emphasised the need for removing the social stigma attached with these disease, while addressing a workshop on HIV/AIDS and TB Free Himachal Campaign for MLAs organised by the state Health and Family Welfare Department, state AIDS Control Society and state TB Control Centre on Monday evening.

Jai Ram Thakur said, “It was the duty of every responsible citizen to contribute in removing the social stigma attached with both TB and HIV/AIDS and the MLAs could play a vital role in spreading awareness in their respective areas regarding these diseases.”

He said that the social taboo involved with AIDS and TB was one of the major bottlenecks in proper diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.

He further added that the Prime Minister Narender Modi has set a target of TB free India by 2025, but with people’s support and commitment of doctors, the state has set a target of making Himachal Pradesh TB free state by 2021.

An effective road map must be prepared taking into consideration all the factors involved in diagnosis and treatment of TB, he said, adding that effective education, information and communication strategy must also be chalked out.

The CM said that efforts should also be made to curb drug menace, especially amongst youth.

It was usually felt that drug abuse and HIV/AIDS were closely associated and awareness regarding deadly effects of HIV and its prevention must be spread especially amongst the youth.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) must be implemented effectively upto the grass root level so as to achieve desired results.

He said that mass awareness regarding HIV/AIDS can prove a boon to checking spread of this disease.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly speaker Rajiv Bindal said that the MLAs could play a key role in spreading awareness regarding these diseases. He appreciated the efforts of the State Health Department for organising such workshops of the MLAs.