Objective="Providing political leadership and commitment to AIDS control programme."
Details for Reform Option "Legislatures Forum on HIV/AIDS, Nagaland"
Nagaland, with a population of two million, is another small northeastern state where injecting drug use has been the driving force behind the spread of HIV. In 2005, the HIV prevalence at antenatal clinics was 1.63%, and the rate among injecting drug users was 4.51%.
The status of HIV/AIDS in the state is alarming and unless steps are taken urgently in all seriousness, the epidemic poses a big threat to the Naga Society. Department of Health and Family Welfare has taken up the issue on a war footing, involving Non Government Organisations (NGOs), Church Based Organisations (CBOs) and every other available forum. The State has realised that the problem of HIV/AIDS cannot be handled by the health sector alone but there is a need for the consistent and well co-ordinated multi-sectoral approach.
In this effort, the leaders and representatives of the people, the legislators have joined hands to provide political leadership and commitment to the AIDS control programme in the State.
In Nagaland, Legislatures Forum on HIV/AIDS (NLFA) has been formed. Since the inception of NLFA the following activities have taken place:
i) Different meetings/workshops held.
ii) Draft Constitution of NLFA has been made.
iii) Draft Action Plan for NLFA made.
iv) Draft State HIV/AIDS policy made.
v) Request given to NSACS to explore avenues for providing support for setting up a Secretariat for NLFA.
NLFA has decided to set up a functional secretariat to be located at the Legislative Assembly Office. The secretariat will function within the Nagaland State Assembly Secretariat for the purpose of supporting the work of NLFA on HIV/AIDS. The secretariat will report to the Convenor of NLFA and work closely with the Convenor, Speaker of the Assembly, Assembly Secretary and Secretary of Health and Family Welfare. The Secretariat will assist the NLFA Executive Committee to prepare Action Plans (annually) in consultation with Nagaland State Aids Control Society (NSACS). Based on action plans suitable measures are to be deployed to support the implementation of programmes. A website is also to be developed and updated for all the members and people at large to know about the activities of NLFA.
Under NLFA there is an annual membership fee of INR 1000 for all sitting Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and for all ex- MLAs it is INR 500. The Governor of Nagaland has already communicated for Local Area Development (LADP) fund contribution towards NLFA. From 2007 it has been decided that INR 1 Lakh contribution (from LADP fund) will be deducted at source. Utilization of the pooled funds will be according to the Action Plan. Chief Secretary is to make it mandatory for all departments to set aside some funds within each Department’s budgetary allocation for HIV/AIDS activities.
The programme is in its initial stage and the results are yet to come out.
One time grant for office equipment: INR 10,00,000
Contingencies: INR 5,00,000
Salary of Technical Officer @ INR 50,000/- per month
Salary of support staff @ INR 15,000 per month (to be provided by NSACS through National AIDS Control Organization).
The recurring cost related to power, telephone, stationary, vehicle, driver and transportation expenses are to be met by the Assembly Secretariat.
Local transportation expenses to be taken from NLFA funds.
Involvement of Legislators: Involvement of Legislators will provide political leadership which will help in combating the epidemic in the State.
Fund Allocation: INR 1 Lakh to be deducted at source from the LADP Fund and the budgetary allocations of various departments will set aside some funds for HIV/AIDS.
Policy on HIV/AIDS: Once the draft policy on HIV/AIDS gets approved, it will help in speeding up the various programs and enacting laws to prevent and to control HIV/AIDS.
Difficulty in auditing: Difficulty in auditing since resources are not pooled.
Non uniformity: There is non uniformity in utilization of INR 1 lakh contributed by legislators out of LADP fund and also there is non uniformity in annual membership contribution (as the programme is in a starting up phase).
Non availability of a Secretariat support: Difficulty in taking forward plans into action due to non-availability of a Secretariat support.
Political will and commitment of Legislators.
Who needs to be consulted
Member of NLFA.
Directorate of Health and Family Welfare.
Nagaland AIDS Control Society.
It is sustainable as some financial support is coming from NSACS and LADP funds are to be contributed towards NLFA.
Chances of Replication
If States want, this initiative can be easily replicated with slight modifications. Manipur has already formed a State AIDS Policy.
Prabha Sati, Research Consultant, European Commission Technical Assistance, New Delhi, March 2007 and
Mr. S.Sahoo, Deputy Director, Field Survey Unit, CBHI, Bhuvneshwar, Orissa, March 2007.