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     Volume 2 Issue 12 | June 9, 2007 |


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Behind the Scene

From Mymensingh

Health Talks at the Reader's Club

Aminul Islam

With the goal of making younger people, especially students, more aware on HIV and AIDS a program was held by the members of The Daily Star Reader's Club, Mymensingh on May 17. World Vision Bangladesh HIV/AIDS Prevention Project here organized the day long program at its conference room at Kachari Road in the district town. A total of 25 members of the Reader's Club both male and female, took part.

Dr. Jayanta Kumar Nath, Manager of the project delivered the welcome address while Dr. Dulal Chandra Pandit, Health Program Specialist of the project also spoke at the inaugural session. The Daily Star local correspondent Md. Aminul Islam, News Today Correspondent Md. Fazlur Rahman Siddique, Reader's Club Secretary Shah Mosharraf Hossain Titumir, Club Vice-Presidents Golam Noor and Md. Nasir Uddin, Executive Member of the club Nazib Ashraf, also President of Bangladesh Photo Journalist Association Mymensingh Unit, World Vision officials Nasir Uddin Mina, Farzana Rahman Sumi, Rashedul Alam and Saiful Islam also spoke on the occasion.

The day long program included discussions about the origin and history of HIV/AIDS, its present condition in Bangladesh as well as in other countries of the world, how it spreads and what the measures can be taken to prevent the deadly disease and where and how this disease can be treated with confidentiality and a low cost. Dr. Dulal Chandra Pandit, Health Program Specialist said that he hopes The Daily Star Reader's Club members will play a significant role in spreading the message learnt from this orientation program to all people so that the people of our country who are under serious risk of AIDS can take preventive measures by learning about AIDS and the causes of infection.

Dr. Jayamta Kumar Nath, Manager of the project made a presentation using slides. This helped participants understand things much better. Everybody wanted to learn more.

Reader's Club Secretary Titumir in his speech said that we have very little knowledge about this deadly disease but through Reader's Club initiatives such as this, we have learnt about the basic causes of this disease and what could be its preventative measures. He also thanked the officials of the World Vision AIDS Prevention Project for selecting the Daily Star Reader's Club for this orientation program. Club Vice-Presidents Golam Noor and Nasir Uddin told the function that we should all, especially the students, learn about this disease and play a vital role in teaching people about it. They also said that through awareness programs and proper motivation, AIDS can be prevented and our superstitious outlook about the AIDS patients can be changed. This will be a great achievement for all.

Later an open discussion was also held. The speakers revealed a world-wide survey on HIV/AIDS. According to a survey of UNAID conducted in 2006, some 3 crore 95 lakh people including 1 crore 73 lakh women are afflicted with HIV/AIDS. More than 43 lakh people have been infected with HIV/AIDS in 2006 and some 29 lakh people died of AIDS or AIDS related cases in different parts of the world. Since AIDS became an epidemic, some two crore 50 lakh people have died from it.

After being infected with the HIV or AIDS virus, about one crore 40 lakh children have lost their parents and 14000 people including 2000 infants are being infected daily throughout. The danger of this disease is particularly high in African countries. In Asia, 84 people including one lakh 80 thousand children are affected with HIV. In total, nine lakh 30 thousand new patients were added in 2006. In Asia, the HIV/AIDS has taken epidemic form in India and China and some six lakh 50 thousand people have been affected in China. In India, 57 lakh people have AIDS and this figure trails behind Africa. 85 lakh people are affected with AIDS in Pakistan while in Myanmar the number is roughly three lakh.

The first case of HIV identified in Bangladesh was in 1989 and the number of affected people in Bangladesh on December 2006 was 874. Of the total reported cases, 240 were identified as AIDS patients while 109 had died of AIDS.



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