Aizawl, the 31st March 2021: Dr K Beichhua Minister of State, Social Welfare Department, etc., in his office chamber, MINECO this afternoon launched the Joint Initiative between Social Welfare & Tribal Affairs Department/ MSD&RB and Mizoram SACS/I-TECH to implement Index Testing and 90-909-90 in Mizoram.

In his launching address, Dr K Beichhua Minister of State, Social Welfare Department had voiced his optimism of getting the benefits from this Joint Initiative to implement Index Testing and 90-909-90 in Mizoram. He further added the state government is fully aware of the dire situations in the state when it comes to the problems of AIDS/HIV and drug abuse, which he termed as the twin problems that go together. And that the government is continuing and committed to combat these menaces on a war footing with all the resources and measures possible.

As per this Joint initiative, Social Welfare & Tribal Affairs Department/ Mizoram Social Defence & Rehabilitation Board (MSD&RB) and MSACS / UW-ITECH, Project Sunshine -SHALOM, Aizawl Mizoram will cover the Integrated Rehabilitation Centers for Addicts (IRCA) funded by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MoSJE) in Mizoram for HIV Case detection, ART Linkage and Viral Load Testing. in addition, training of IRCA Nurses will also be supported by MSACS and ITECH.

The mode of operation will be as shown below:

I. HIV Testing to be conducted for all inmates of 11 IRCAs (Integrated Rehabilitation Centers for Addicts) in Mizoram with the support of Mizoram SACS, ITECH Field team and SHALOM.

II. Blood sample collection for baseline investigation to initiate ART treatment for all HIV positive inmates of all IRCAs.

III. Initiation of ART treatment for all HIV Positive inmates of IRCAs in each centre.

IV. ART Refill – ART to be delivered by the ITECH Field team to all the IRCAs for the inmates.

V. ART Dispensation – ART medicines to be dispensed to the HIV positive inmates of IRCAs on a daily basis by the Nurse of each IRCA.

VI. Viral Load testing – Blood sample collection for Eligible clients for Viral Load Testing among the inmates of IRCA could be arranged by ITECH from each centre.

VII. Record Maintenance – A register will have to be maintained at each IRCA to record ART refill dates and pill counts of the remaining ART medicines which will be maintained by the Centre Director or Nurse.

VIII. The Centre Director of each centre may be assigned to be the focal person for coordination and follow up.

IX. Rolling out of the Joint Initiative at the Office Chamber of Hon’ble Minister SWD on 31 March 2021.

X. Follow up the discussion to be held for actual rollout of the initiative. Director SW&TA to initiate the plan.

The launching programme was chaired by Mrs Sangchhin Chinzah, SWD Secretary. Those in attendance were briefed on the joint initiatives by Dr. Pankaj Gupta, visiting official from the Central Govt. and Mr Robert Lalrempuia, Senior Program Officer, ITECH. Ms Lalhlupuii Sailo, CEO and staff of MSD&RB, the Chief Functionaries of 5 IRCAs within Aizawl, Dr Chawnglungmuana, Director, SHALOM and Ms Christina Lalrindiki, State Coordinator, ITECH were also in attendance. The programme concluded with vote of thanks proposed by Mrs A. Vanlalzawni , Director of SW&TA Dept.