National Interfaith Seminar: Clerics Urged to Aid Fight HIV, AIDS

February 20, 2007

Source: Daily Times

ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a two-day national interfaith seminar that began here on Monday highlighted the key role the religious leaders could play in the fight against AIDS.

The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), Ministry of Health and the Inter-Religious Council for Health (IRCH) have organised the seminar. The participants called upon the religious leaders to create awareness for preventing the diseases in their respective communities at the national and district levels.

Health Minister Muhammad Nasir Khan while stressing the importance of Islamic way of life said that all the rules had been laid down 1,400 years ago. He said that prevention was better than cure and especially with a disease like AIDS, precautions must be taken, as it has no cure. Medication given to patients, he said, was not a permanent cure but only helped extend their life a bit.

“Pakistan is fortunate that it has very few AIDS cases compared to India and other countries,” he said and added that parents and teachers could play an important role in creating awareness among the youth. “While there is a need of maximum interaction between the youth and parents, unnecessary hesitation can play a negative role,” the health minister said.

He said that the role of clerics in creating awareness about AIDS could not be denied. “We request them to start campaigns in their villages, towns and districts and ask people to take preventive measures against AIDS,” Nasir said.