The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011
By ELIZABETH MIAE
FIVE provincial AIDS committee secretariats in the country are now able to extend their services into the remote areas through the use of five new vehicles that were commissioned and delivered by the National AIDS Council Secretariat (NACS) yesterday.
The delivery of the vehicles was part of NACS’s mandated responsibility to strengthen the coordination of the HIV response in the country.
The recipient provinces were Manus, New Ireland, Southern Highlands, Chimbu and Central and their respective district AIDS committees (DAC).
The vehicle for Central PACS was handed over to chairman and deputy provincial administrator Manasseh Rapila at the Niu Ford office in Port Moresby yesterday.
According to NACS, the other 15 PACS would also be receiving their vehicles.
The vehicles were a necessary means of transportation to coordinate and support stakeholders and implementation partners at the provincial and district level.
NACS deputy director-care and support Dr Moale Kariko said 80% of PNG’s population lived in the rural areas where there were limited health and transport services which was a big challenge in the provincial fight against HIV/AIDS.
“I know from personal experience that the vehicles we are handing over are indeed sorely needed by PACS,” he said.
“Lack of transport has been one of the most serious issues for implementing and coordinating the National HIV and AIDS strategy.”
Kariko hoped that the vehicles would be used to their full potential to assist PACS effectively and efficiently coordinate and monitor their HIV response.
He urged all the PACS to take full responsibility in properly maintaining the vehicles on a regular basis.
A vehicle management policy was being implemented across all PACS and the NACS head office.