Indian Church shares experience at global AIDS meet

NEW DELHI (ICNS): Indian Church representatives attending the international AIDS conference have show-cased their work in India as a global example for fighting the dreaded disease.

The Aug.3-8 International AIDS Conference in Mexico city has several Indian representatives including Archbishop Bernard Moras, chairperson of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) Commission for Health and Father Alex Vadakumathala, the commission’s secretary.

Archbishop Moras, Monsignor Bob Vitillo of Caritas Internationalis and Father Vadakumthala, presented the lessons learned and best practices of the Catholic Church in India.

They highlighted the collaboration with funding agencies, regional health structures and state governments in facilitating access to care and support.

The Indian Catholic

The Church in India has set up 20 community care centers in the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Chattisgarh and Gujarat, with the support of the Global Fund. The Church plans to set up another 45 such centers within the coming two years, Father Vadakumthala said.

Anita Shet from St. John ´s National Academy of Health Sciences presented a report on "Children and HIV/AIDS, emphasizing children care.

Children should not be the forgotten face of HIV. There is a need for continuum of care, which includes nutritional and psychosocial support, both at individual, family and community level," she said.

Archbishop Moras told a reception hosted by Cardinal Roberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico that the Church has to take a lead to curb the further spread of HIV pandemic.

The Church needs to increase efforts in offering compassionate care, support and treatment to people living with HIV, he said.

"The pandemic is affecting mostly the youth, women and the poor. This is indeed a serious concern for the Church, he said stressing that the situation calls for renewed commitment.

The Papal Nuncio to Mexico Archbishop Christopher Pierre was among dignitaries who attended the reception.

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