“Is Social Protection Need for the Vulnerable like HIV/AIDS?”

On 16 December 2019, Social Protection Civil Society Network (SPCSN) conducted a workshop on ‘Social Protection and HIV’ in the coordination of the National Federation of Women Living with HIV and AIDS (NFWLHA) and Shaileshwori Women Group in Kailali. 34 women participated in the respective workshop.

Sarita Shrestha, a local media person conducted the event as Pramod Acharya hosted an introductory session followed by a quick smile game. Laxmi Nepali, Secretary of Shaileshwori Women’s Group, welcomed all participants. Chhetra Kumari Gurung, Program Officer of NFWLHA highlighted the objectives of the event. Sara Thapa Magar, President of NFWLHA, delivered the speech on the current situation of HIV/AIDS and the status of Social Protection schemes in the district. She highlighted the challenges, opportunities, and recommendations to link and emphasize on vulnerability and poverty. Dr. Ashok Pande, on behalf of SPCSN, shared the general context of Social Protection and HIV/AIDS in Nepal. He explained there are increasing budgets in this sector however, an effective implementation plan is required to observe real changes in Nepal. Chhetra Gurung conducted a group session with 4 groups of participants with 4 separate issues i.e. i) women’s problems and its’ ultimate solutions, ii) programs for single women iii) HIV/AIDS and CABA, and iv) programs for CABA. Throughout the discussion, the representatives from each group shared major points to recommend the Godawari Municipality for their observation and plan of action in future endeavors.           

The half-day session concluded with closing remarks from Sara Thapa Magar, Chairperson of NFWLHA.

On the same day “Interaction on Social protection and HIV/AIDS” reviewed the status of women living with HIV/AIDS and social protection schemes for the population. Basanti Joshi, Chair of Shaileshwori Women Group hosted the event and the Deputy Mayor of Godawari Municipality Ratna Kathayat participated as a chief guest. Laxmi Nepali delivered welcome remarks to the participants and she highlighted the issues of HIV infected women in their locality.

Gauri Datta Joshi, Chief of Social Service Unit of Seti Zonal Hospital shared the services provided to HIV infected persons by their unit. He highlighted some livelihood supports for HIV infected and affected families that is to engage them in income-generating activities. It is increasing the income for HIV infected families, he concluded. Similarly, Mr. Lokraj Paneru from Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Centre, Seti Zonal Hospital, expressed services provided to HIV infected people are taking place which is necessary and also provisioned by the Government of Nepal. His department is committed to serving more if it is required in future endeavors, he concluded.

Mr. Shiv Bahadur BK, Chairperson of Ward No. 11 of Godawari Municipality shared about the schemes planned by the Municipality for HIV infected persons. He informed that Rs. 5 Lakh has been allocated for the welfare of HIV infected women this year. It is realized that due to limited resources more effective programs are lacking to its’ implementation, he said.

Ms. Kadayat delivered a commitment to further support HIV infected people. She proudly said that Godavari Municipality is the first to allocate the funds to support HIV infected people in a country. She wishes to bring more programs to support HIV infected people and also suggested raising voice in different forums in order to increase the fund for HIV infected people, she said. Finally, the interaction concluded with closing remarks from Ms. Joshi for their time and cooperation to make a healthy discussion with a key resolution.

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