Church and Indian Government are Partners in Fight against TB, HIV and Diseases

Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India (CBCI), the third largest Bishop’s Conference in the world and is the apex body of the Catholic Church in India. On HIV/AIDS the CBCI advocates ‘Cooperation, Collaboration and Networking to contain the virus effectively’.

The CBCI has organized 2 day (July 8 – 9, 2008) National Consultation, "Church’s Contribution towards Universal Access to Prevention, Care and Treatment for HIV and Related Diseases: Sharing Best Practices, Lessons Learnt and the Way Forward".

The Consultation was inaugurated by Mr. Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge), Government of India & Chairman, Parliamentarians’ Forum for AIDS. Addresses by speakers like Rev. Dr. Bernard Moras (Chairman, CBCI Health Commission & Archbishop of Bangalore), Rev. Dr. Thomas d’Aquino Sequeira (Deputy Secretary General, CBCI) and Dr. Rabia Mathai (Senior Vice-President, CMMB) stressed on strengthening partnership in achieving the goals.

Rev. Dr. Alex Vadakumthala (Executive Secretary, CBCI Health Commission) presented the CBCI’s infrastructure with 5,000 hospitals (including dispensaries and health centres) as the access points for disease prevention, treatment, and control.

CBCI is a partner in a Global Fund VI Round.

The consultation day also witnessed launch of the partnership TB project with the Government of India in the presence of other partners and district TB officers, with a special address by Dr. L.S. Chauhan (Deputy Director General, Central TB Division, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India). There is an opportunity to handle HIV and TB co-infected cases.

Some of the partners of the consultation besides the CBCI and the Indian Government were, Catholic Medical Mission Board, CRS, Catholic Health Association of India, Caritas India, Population Foundation of India, Samraksha, St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences, USAID, Constella Futures, All India Catholic Coalition against AIDS and Related Diseases (AICCARD), Georgetown University, UNAIDS, Project Development Initiative (PDI), Nursing Council of India, Xavier Institute of Management, Institute of Bio-ethics, Sister Doctors’ Forum of India, Aristotelion International Institute of Culture.

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