Forewarning a human tragedy of biblical proportion, campaigners in Dhaka called for establishing a global task force to deal with the AIDS menace by pooling requisite resources and efforts, reports UNB.
The call came when Life, an UN-associated organisation, organised a colourful yet sombre rally in front of the Central Shaheed Minar and held a discussion as part of its campaign to reach the anti-AIDS message among the masses.
Led by LIFE leaders, including its advisor Amanalluah Khan and president Kamrul Islam Sony, the rally was participated mostly by youths and girls displaying banners, placards, festoons and signs carrying anti-AIDS slogans.
The campaigners marched through the streets leading to the Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) on Dhaka University Campus where an oath to fight AIDS was administered, a signature campaign unveiled and a discussion meeting on HIV/AIDS held.
The meeting was addressed, among others, by Director of Dhaka Children's Hospital Salim Shakur, assistant Prof of the department of Geography and Environment of Dhaka University Rejuan Hossain Bhuiyan and project coordinator of LIFE HIV/AIDS Ameerul Islam. Speaking as the chief guest, Amanullah Khan lamented that in spite of all the media publicity and extensive campaign, the world was unable to contain the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS.
Identifying AIDS as a multi-faceted issue, Khan observed that it is not only a major health issue but also a family and social problem with a devastating impact on the national economy in terms of decline in productivity, loss of man-hours and decimation of population at its most productive age.
Khan also reminded that Bangladesh was no longer a safe zone for AIDS due mainly to its close proximity to and porous borders with India, a country having the second- largest number of HIV-positive cases in the world after South Africa.
"Acquiring knowledge about AIDS for sharing it with others and sensitising the public about its dangers constitute key components in the fight against AIDS alongside the physical infrastructure necessary to cope with the pandemic," Khan pointed out.
Life Chairman Kamrul Islam Sony said that there was no alternative to AIDS awareness programmes in controlling the deadly disease.