More link ART centres to open in district

More link ART centres to open in district

Giving an update of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) Phase III in the district as part of the workshop on Public Private Partnership in tackling the spread of HIV/Aids organised by Population Services International (PSI) here on Tuesday, he said that the Link ART centres will provide the Anti Retroviral drugs to HIV+ people, which will help them to lead a better quality life for a longer period.

The centre was established in District Wenlock Hospital in 2006 and has done a commendable job in tackling the disease, he said. As many as 4,339 people have approached the ART centres in the district since then, out of which 2,137 got started with treatment and 1,167 are still alive and on ART, Dr Kumar elaborated.

Besides the ART centres, there are 29 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC) in the district including 6 medical colleges and 7 Community Health centres. There are 4 ICTCs working under Public Private Partnership as well, which includes the Saadhan, the mobile ICTC of PSI. Out of the 27 Public Health Centres, 7 have ICTCs and the others will soon have, Dr Kumar assured.

Dr Kumar said that DAPCU was set up in 2008 to monitor the progress in reaching out the NACP to the grass root level, to merge the activities of NACP with NRHM (National Rural Health Mission) and to halt and reverse the epidemic by 2012.

Prevalence of HIV is maximum among sex workers, especially male homosexuals, he said and added that the spread of HIV from mother to child could be controlled to a considerable extent my monitoring the cases detected in Anti natal clinics.

Ravinandan from PSI later gave an update of the Workplace Intervention (WPI) programme undertaken by PSI. He said that as many as 103 companies in Mangalore have extended their support to PSI in the programme and explained why business establishments should take a keen interest in fighting HIV/AIDS.  Ramachandra Bhat, proprietor of Classic Fusion Metals in Bykampady gave an account of the WPI programme undertaken in his company and how the employees benefited from it. He urged more and more companies to come forward and implement WPI programmes, which will help the company in a long run.

Meanwhile, Senior Manager (Corporate Intervention ) of PSI, from Bangalore, Naresh Kumar gave a presentation on Corporate Social Responsibility. District Health Officer Dr Jagannath, President of Kanara Small Industries Association Jayaraj Pai, Secretary of the Network of Possitives Seema Mathias and others were present on the occasion.