By BOSORINA ROBBY
CHAIRMAN of the Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS Jamie Maxtone-Graham has expressed embarrassment at the Government’s lack of support in its work and the apparent ignorance they have towards the epidemic.
Mr Maxtone-Graham said many positive progresses had been made into HIV/AIDS which were not being monitored.
He congratulated the National AIDS Council (NAC) and various development partners for their efforts to respond to the epidemic and urged them not to become complacent.
Upon receiving more than K83,000 worth of computer equipment from the United Nations last Friday, Mr Maxtone-Graham said he was honoured his committee was finally getting some support for their work..
Mr Maxtone-Graham said many parliamentarians were still ignorant to the facts of HIV/AIDS and its seriousness and still behaved as if it is not a real issue.
He pointed out that through AusAID’s leadership support initiative workshop; many parliamentarians’ eyes were opened to the seriousness of the issue.
AusAID and UN, under its leadership development programme on HIV/AIDS for leaders, saw that many leaders from parliamentarians to provincial levels were made aware of the facts and to see how each can contribute in the response to HIV/AIDS.
Mr Maxtone-Graham pledged that his committee would now ensure that amendments would be made to certain legislations which hinder the progress on ground level, and table it at the next Parliament sitting.
NAC acting director Wep Kanawi also pledged to find office space for the committee and to assist them in their work.
Mr Kanawi said that this presentation was the new beginning for all partners to work together to do what they could for PNG.
UN resident coordinator David McLachlan-Karr said the presentation was a gesture that the UN would be assisting the committee to do their work effectively.
Mr McLachlan-Karr said it was absolutely essential that the messages get out to the people, with the real work beginning with the NACS, the committee and the Government, to ensure that the round 10 Global Fund grants did not fail to provide adequate ARV supply for all and that the legislations be amended.