District consultation on stigma and discrimination at Phek

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PHEK, September 7: The district consultation /follow up meeting on stigma and discrimination, CABA uptake of social protection schemes and legal protection was organised by District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit (DAPCU) in collaboration with Phek District Legal Services Authority (PDLSA) at MS conference hall, DH Phek on September 5.
President PNP + Phek Mese Lekro stressed on the issue of stigma and discrimination faced by the Peson Living with HIV (PLHIV) such as separation and segregation of PLHIV at village levels, excommunication of the PLHIV from villages, non acceptance in the society, non acceptance in hospital for check up. He said that because of stigma and discrimination, PLHIV are hesitant to go for check up in their respective district and instead they prefer to go for check up in other districts hospitals in order to avoid stigma. He also lamented that most of the PLHIV belongs to Below Poverty Line.
Representative from social welfare department highlighted one particular scheme among many – Government grant in aid to a registered NGO looking after the PLHIV. The District child protection officer, Ketobu highlighted that PLHIV in need of care and protection can avail help under ICPS.
He said that there are Children’s Home in Phek town, Meluri, Pfutsero, Chetheba and Chozuba. Further, he highlighted a scheme called sponsorship scheme for HIV infected child (school going) Rs 1000 month.
Retainer lawyer, Mamang Singson spoke on the ways and measures to contain stigma and discrimination faced by the PLHIV by stressing on fundamental rights and also appraised that PDLSA will provide legal services in the form of availing social welfare schemes, complaint of stigma and discrimination, etc.
Replying to a question regarding excommunication of PLHIV from the village, N Longshithung Ezung, District & Sessions Judge and chairman PDLSA said that such matter could be dealt by PDLSA filing an application to the home commissioner for revocation of such order of excommunication or to file a writ petition in the high court against such order. He encouraged the PLHIV present such report to PDLSA when such matter arises so as to set a precedent to contain stigma and discrimination.
Altogether 21 beneficiaries attended the programme. (Page News Service)