07 July 2010
By Debarati basu
The mobile units in Junagadh have initially begun with some rural regions, which include the Kharwa community fishing villages. The mobile units will have all the necessary facilities of an ICTC centre and carry out periodic visits to these areas. The team will provide beneficiaries with regular medication, treatment and counselling
THE Gujarat State AIDS Control Society (GSACS) has now started mobile Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC) services in an attempt to reach out to the distant villages. The far flung areas in many districts in Gujarat lose out on HIV/AIDS treatment due to unavailability of healthcare units.
The project has been recently started on a pilot basis in Junagadh, which has a sizeable migratory population vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. It aims to identify such remote villages, which have a sizeable population of migrant labourers afflicted with HIV/AIDS.
Pradeep Khanna, Additional Project Director, GSACS, said: "It has been just a few weeks since we have started this exercise.
The main purpose is to reach out to the population which loses out on medication due to lack of healthcare units in proximity."
The mobile units in Junagadh have initially begun with some rural regions, which include the Kharwa community fishing villages. The mobile units will have all the necessary facilities of an ICTC centre and carry out periodic visits of these areas. The team will provide beneficiaries with regular medication, treatment and counselling, making a database of the patients to keep track on them.
"We are primarily collecting database and formulating a schedule in these areas.
Within a month, we will have a rough idea of the number of people benefiting from the mobile unit services. We have asked for details of similar villages from various districts," added Khanna.
After Junagadh, GSACS intends to start a similar service in Saurashtra and Kutch.
"There is a large section to be catered to in Kutch given the number of workers working in the salt pan region. These areas fall in the C category, which means that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is not high. Besides, these areas have a scattered population. As such, there is no point in setting up dedicated ICTC centres there. Nevertheless the affected people need to receive medication to curb the spread in these regions," Khanna further said.
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