NSACS clarifies to concerns over MMC

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Dimapur, October 12: The Nagaland State AIDS Control Society (NSACS) has clarified to the concerns expressed by various individuals in the local dailies on the recently conducted Multi Media Campaign, stating that the event’s impact was not visible.
In a statement, the NSACS said it cannot carry the prevention and control programme of HIV and AIDS forward alone, saying the little that it could achieved till today was only through the concerted and multi-sectoral effort contributed from line departments, churches and NGOs with NSACS under Health and Family Welfare Department leading the team from the front.
While the high prevalence of HIV in the State remains a major concern, NSACS said it is more disheartening to find the fact that majority of the positive cases belongs to the younger population. Citing latest data from April to August 2018, NSACS said in Nagaland, 60% of the HIV positive cases are found among the age group of 15-34 years.
Efforts are being put in to reach out to this vulnerable population through different strategies and platforms. For the youth in particular, NSACS is making intervention through its youth intervention programs like Red Ribbon Club in the colleges, Adolescence Education Program in the schools, out of school youth programs, special intervention campaigns like Multimedia Campaign, International Youth Day, National Youth Day, advocacy and sensitization programs, etc, it said.
Stating that Multimedia Campaign (MMC) is another strategy to reach out to the young people with HIV prevention messages through music, sports, etc, NSACS said MMC is a special package provided by NACO since 2009 for the 8 North Eastern States; keeping in mind that NE people are music lovers and music influences their lives.
Even this year, the campaign is being simultaneously carried out across the North Eastern States which will culminate at a regional level programme to be hosted by NSACS during the month of November, as recommended by NACO. The recently concluded MMC was carried out in a manner where along with music, HIV messages through song lyrics, quiz, HIV testing facilities, distribution of IEC materials, screening of short videos and texts with prevention and treatment messages, motivational talks on drug abuse and its effects, etc were discussed and disseminated.
NSACS said an evaluation of MMC “Red Ribbon Superstar Campaign” was conducted in 2011-12 by Social and Rural Research Institute; a specialist unit of International Media Research Bureau (IMRB), Delhi, and the report showed that the multimedia media campaign “triggered discussion” among 60% of the respondents, 93% “intent to watch more such campaigns” and 77% “Intent to watch campaigns on the issue” of HIV and AIDS. It was also found that “of all the states covered, HIV testing was reported to be highest among respondents in Nagaland (18%), followed by those in Mizoram (16%) and Manipur (13%). Significant difference can be observed in HIV testing among respondents who were exposed to the Red Ribbon campaign and those not exposed to the campaign,” it said
Stating that the comments expressed and the suggestions and inputs were well taken in all positivity, NSACS said it should be the endeavour of all concerned to explore more attractive, effective and youth friendly intervention programmes and collectively fight the HIV and AIDS epidemic. (Page News Service)