Project Concern International/India (PCI)

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‘Saving Lives and Building Healthy Communities’
Project Concern International/India
Organization Description: Project Concern International is a U.S. based non–profit, international development organization established in 1961, promotes community health and integrated development in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America. PCI’s programs reach out to more than three million people every year.

PCI/India, a registered charitable society, established its presence in India in 1997. PCI maintains a diverse portfolio of programs in 13 states in the areas of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, humanitarian assistance, mother and child health, polio eradication, water, sanitation and environment, micro–enterprise, and organizational training and support.

In specific, Project Concern International (PCI) initiated programs for People Living with HIV/AIDS, to provide integrated low–cost Community Home Based Care (CHBC), nutritional support, psychosocial counseling and other basic services to the people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) and their family members. PCI works over, in the high prevalence states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh and other three additional sites in the northeastern states of Manipur and Nagaland.
Our Vision
PCI envisions a world where abundant resources are intentionally shared and communities are committed and able to ensure the health and well–being of their members.

Our Mission
Motivated by our concern for the world’s vulnerable children, families and communities, PCI’s mission is to provide access to health resources, prevent disease and promote development through dynamic partnerships that build local capacity in efficient and measurable ways.
Positive Action for the Health of People Living with HIV/AIDS (Pathway) provides a Comprehensive community and home–Based care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) in the high prevalence states of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh and in the north–eastern states of Manipur (Churachandpur and Imphal) and Nagaland (Dimapur) in India. PCI works with the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) to improve and upgrade its Strategic Information System (SIS) and train its personnel in the management of SIS and other skill areas in high demand. It increases delivery of healthcare, psychosocial support, livelihood opportunities to PLHIV and their families, HIV prevention services to community members, community support for PLHIV and their families, increase capacity of local CBOs, NGOs, other private and government institutions to deliver HIV prevention, care and support services and strengthen referral partnership among CBOs, NGOs, other private and government institutions.

Ensuring Mental Health is an integral part of the Pathway program. Yoga, meditation, chanting and laughter exercises have been demonstrated as important lifestyle elements that can improve the health of people suffering from sickness and disease.

One of the most popular classes offered by Pathway is referred to as Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra involves physical relaxation and autosuggestion for positive living. A student lies down in the yoga pose of Shavasana (supine position) with eyes closed and listens to an audio cassette which guides the individual in visualization exercises that stimulates the subconscious mind to think positively about one’s physical and mental well–being.

‘Health Education and Life skill Program, Youth HIV Prevention (HELP)’, aims to reduce the vulnerability of children and young people by ensuring access of both girls and boys to HIV/AIDS prevention services. The Help Program concentrates on 33.8% of the population, at the age 15–34 with a specific focus on number of adolescents between the age of 10–19 who are over 230 million. Since October 2005, PCI has been focusing on HIV Prevention among youth in Pune Schools and Colleges and to reduce the vulnerability of children and young people by ensuring both girls and boys access to HIV/AIDS prevention education services. It raises the level of knowledge, awareness and skills of adolescents and youth about HIV/AIDS prevention among students of schools and colleges during a two–year period.

Our past work in HIV/AIDS
MASBOOT (Making AIDS Services Stronger by Enhancing Organizational Outreach through Training) aims at training and building the capacity of Government and non–government stakeholders in the provision of HIV/AIDS services and to improve the quality of those services in Jharkhand.

AWARE (Advancing Ways towards AIDS Awareness and a Right to a Healthy Environment), focussed on working with youth and children living and working on the railway platforms and streets of New Delhi. These children being who are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS were made agents of change to bring about behaviour change among street and working children (SWC) and the community at large, to provide child–friendly HIV/AIDS services and to ensure program sustainability by increased involvement of stakeholders.

Heath Highways project, initiated in 1999 in Jaipur in Rajsthan(India). India’s is one of the largest road networks in the world and an estimated 2 to 5 million long–distance truck drivers and helpers who are at high risk of HIV due to their mobility and tendency to frequent commercial sex workers, yet have little knowledge about HIV and other STIs, and generally do not use condoms. The Project aimed to brings about healthier attitudes and sexual behaviors among truckers, crewmembers and the community along the trucking routes. The program reached out to thousands of truckers and transport workers with vital information, increased access to condoms and STI treatment, and was successful in creating peer–support for more responsible sexual behavior. The project that began on a 30–kilometer stretch but ended with a 145–kilometer stretch of national highway.
PCI has undertaken projects to complete the continuum of care through linkages with relevant projects in Tamil Nadu, thus providing holistic care and support with PLHIV. The projects include:

Community Care Center
The Community Care Center is a project implemented by PCI with support from Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TANSACS). It is a short term inpatient nursing care facility, acting as a bridge between hospital and home care. The main objective of the care center is to deliver a continuum of care. This involves the promotion of early detection of HIV, focus on the effective treatment of opportunistic infections, reduce mother–to–child transmission of HIV and strengthen the referral services to enable PLWHA to avail specialized services like CD4 testing and Anti retroviral therapy when needed.

The Community Care Centre provides 24 hours medical care, nutrition support, counseling support, behavior modification programs, training for caregivers, recreational activities and referral services.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation–AVAHAN–VHS–TAI
PCI is implementing a community driven prevention program in Salem district that reaches out to female sex workers and their clients. The project is a multi donour inititibe of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , AVAHAN initiative, VHS and the Tamil Nadu AIDS Initiative. It aims to promote behavior change and reinforce safer sexual practices among female sex workers as well their clients, and refers those suspected to be included to the PATHWAY program for home–based care.

The PCI–GFATM–TANSACS–PPTCT
The project identifies and mobilizes antenatal mothers for counseling and testing, providing anti–retroviral therapy to positive mothers and children, follow–up services for safe institutional delivery, and nutritional support. Pregnant women are referred to the Integrated Voluntary Counseling Centre. If a patient is found positive, follow up activities are pursued.

GFATM III/HIV–TB
The GFATM III is a Tamil Nadu State AIDS Control Society (TNSACS) funded initiative through which the state of Tamilnadu aims to increase the demand for prevention, care and support for HIV and TB through community mobilization and partnership building. PCI operates this program in the district of Salem through outreach workers, some of whom are to be placed in the STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) department and Integrated Voluntary Counseling Centre of Salem and Mettur Government Hospital, while others coordinate in the field.

Pediatric AIDS Initiatives
With the support from Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative (CHAI) and implementing through NACO a comprehensive pediatric initiative is run, through which a greater number of children living with HIV/AIDS benefit. The comprehensive care and treatment package includes psycho-social, nutritional, medical, and transportation support. Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative role includes forecasting and procuring the pediatric ARVs for 10,000 children, linking of children living with HIV/AIDS to the nearest anti-retroviral therapy centers, and partnering with non-governmental organizations providing home based care and support to children living with HIV/AIDS. PCI was selected in April 2007 as one of the lead partners through which the care and support components will be rolled out. PCI has been selected as it is currently implementing the home and community based HIV/AIDS care and support programs in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, and Tamil Nadu. Nagaland has extensive experience in implementing the home and community based care and support programs with a special focus on children.

PATHWAY program complements and supports several national health programs, of which the following are noteworthy, and indirectly support HIV initiatives countrywide:

RCH–II (Reproductive and child health)
The Sure Start project in Pune, a maternal and newborn care project managed by PCI, which includes an HIV convergence component, will help foster increased service delivery in slums that overlap with those of PATHWAY/Pune by linking the identified at–risk mothers and newborns to the nearest Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) centers. This activity complements the national programs of NACP–III and the RCH–II.

PAI (Paediatric AIDS Initiative)
All PATHWAY sites have strong linkages between the project and the GOI ART program, as well as the Clinton Foundation program, which provides ART access to children living with HIV (CLHA) at all sites. As a lead agency in the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative, PCI will ensure that all eligible PLWHA in its PATHWAY program are linked to ART services. As a result of the Clinton Foundation partnership, the institutional linkages established include: Sassoon Hospital at Pune, Government Hospital of Thoracic Medicine (GHTB), Tambaram, Government Hospital, Namakkal, Government Hospital, Salem, Medicines Sans Fronteiers (Doctors Without Borders), Chaurachandpur, J.L. Nehru Hospital and Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Imphal, Civil Lines Hospital, Dimapur, and State AIDS Control Societies in all the five states.

RNTCP (Revised National Tuberculosis Program)
The PATHWAY project has redoubled its emphasis on TB–HIV co–infection at all the sites. The specific activities include: clinical screening of PLWHA and referral to the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) centers for diagnosis, and coordination at all project sites with the DOTS program for TB/HIV co–infected patients, while actively promoting and encouraging all TB patients in the project areas to undergo counseling and testing for HIV.

National Consortium of TB Organizations. With experience with HIV/TB and its national base of operations, PCI helped form the National Consortium of TB Organizations during the last three months. The current members of the consortium include World Vision India (WV), Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Project Concern International (PCI), TB Alert, LEPRA Society, Damien Foundation India Trust (DFIT) and the German Leprosy and TB Relief Association (GLRA. The Consortium will promote successful models of TB control, including TB–HIV co–infection, implemented by its members in several locations countrywide, and develop a proposal for presentation to the Global Fund.

The report and performance indicators for this activity for Year Four will be (a) to report progress on these national level initiatives to GAP India on a quarterly basis and (b) to document in the Year Four annual report how involvement in these initiatives has both directly and indirectly improved performance of the PATHWAY program.

Association with National AIDS Research Institute
Project Concern International’s enrolled HIV clients and team were involved in researches administered by NARI. The blood samples collected by PCI from the clients have been tested for HIV by NARI. The researches on Discordant & Concordant couples, prevention strategies and implications on HIV / AIDS and ART related subjects involved PCI’s registered clients.

Networking with NMP+ and SNP+
PCI implements the PATHWAY (Positive Action for the Health of People Living with HIV/AIDS) program components through these NMP + (Network of Maharashtra for people living with HIV /AIDS and SNP+ (Salem district network of people living with HIV /AIDS) in Tamilnadu.

Strengthening the Capacity of the National AIDS Control Society (NACO)
PATHWAY works on strengthening NACO’s strategic information management capacity and other relevant technical areas as per the agreement with NACO, which came into effect on April 1, 2007, and it is renewed on an annual basis through the PATHWAY LOP. This agreement with NACO enables PCI to participate actively in upgrading NACO’s TA delivery capacity, improve its information gathering and reporting systems, and develop modules, manuals, and policy guidelines and directives for smoother and more efficient management.

Enhancing the Capacity of the State AIDS Control Societies
The State AIDS Control Societies (SACSs) are state–run branches of NACO, overseeing all HIV/AIDS interventions at the state level. In many cases, they are an important conduit of resources to the NGO sector to implement targeted interventions. PCI has built successful programs with the SACSs in Tamil Nadu (and received funding for two different initiatives over the past several years), and to a lesser extent in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh (provided training on ‘How to communicate messages on HIV/AIDS among youth’ to the AP SACSs). In the North East States of Nagaland and Manipur, where PATHWAY began operations in Year Two, relationships are beginning to unfold with the respective SACSs. In Manipur, PATHWAY’s two implementing partners–SASO and SHALOM–have become members of the SACSs Coordination Committee at the state level. In all six states, PCI has a close collaborative relationship with the SACSs for the provision of ART to its clientele. During Year Four and Five, PCI will expand its relationships with the SACSs in all five targeted states, and attempt to improve linkages and relationships between the SACSs and NACO.

At the district level in those locations where PCI works, relationships with the District AIDS Coordination Committees are being developed, now that they have been given greater responsibility and authority in NACP III. For example, in Dimapur, the PATHWAY implementing agency, Akimbo Society, coordinates closely with the Coordination Committee in conducting IEC activities.

Expansion of Advocacy Initiatives
PCI was instrumental in forming the National Advocacy Partnership on HIV/AIDS (NAPHA) in Delhi. Over the years, the membership of NAPHA has grown to more than 40 members, including such organizations as UNICEF, INP+, UNESCO, AIDS Health Care Foundation, CRS, and the India HIV/AIDS Alliance. NAPHA has met periodically over the past year and developed three priority areas of work at the national level: (1) awareness on HIV issues among parliamentarians, (2) roll out of ART, and (3) legal rights of PLWHA. As part of its cross–cutting approach, PCI will further strengthen advocacy activities related to PLWHA and GIPA through NAPHA, and promote follow–on advocacy activities with its members.

Increasing Capacity Building Initiatives
PATHWAY enhances capacity building initiatives with all its stakeholders, with particular emphasis on leaders at all five sites. Activities include technical assistance and mentoring, training and capacity–enhancement to build sustainable advocacy skills, organizing meetings and other forums for stakeholder consultations to create the opportunity for leaders to emerge and engage in face–to–face interactions with PLHIV, orphans, widows, etc, and providing capacity building training for organizations and their cadre of leaders.

Enhancing the involvement of religious leaders
At the six project sites, Faith Based Organisations and religious leaders have been identified who are interested in learning more about HIV especially, care and support of PLHIV. The leaders will be supported by the project to undertake messaging of Abstinence, Be faithful and Use Condoms, as appropriate and acceptable within their institution. Specifically, faith based leaders will be engaged by PATHWAY to design and implement policies and structures (such as HIV/AIDS focal persons) in their religious community to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic, promote mechanisms to support those members who are infected and affected with HIV/AIDS, and to use these structures to strengthen public and legal advocacy for PLHIV, and to expand their knowledge, attitude and behaviour in the area HIV/AIDS, and especially in CHBC.
Pune, Maharashtra
Mass Awareness Program - Anand Melawa (Get together of PLHA and family members)
In commemoration of the World AIDS day, Anand Melawa was organized by PATHWAY, Pune. The Melawa included game stalls for children, adults and one for IEC on HIV/AIDS.

The interactive programs on this day were, jumping game for children, magic show, cultural program and Orchestra by blind school children.

AIDS CHARITY RUN in Pune was organised and participated by PCI and the staff team and PLHIV participated in the 6.5 km run in Pune and covered about 5000 population on HIV/AIDS and 5000 IEC distributed on HIV/AIDS.

Salem, Tamilnadu
Live show in Cable TV network - Polymer Channel
Involving local TV channel, Polymer, a live program was telecasted. The program was hosted by Medical Doctors from ART medical center from Salem, Tamilnadu and PCI Training personnel. The programs telecasted were Discussion on PCI's HIV /AIDS (PATHWAY) program, Live chat with Medical Doctors on clearing health related doubts and the District Governor from Rotary delivered a message on world AIDS day 2008.
Country Office
Director – HIV/AIDS Program
Project Concern International/India,
C-32, Ground Floor, Panchsheel Enclave
Near Chirag Delhi Flyover
New Delhi-110017
Tel: 91-011-46058888
Web Site: www.pciindia.org

Regional Offices
Tamilnadu Region
Programme Manager
Project Concern International/India,
New No: 2/50 C, IV main road, Shivaya Nagar,
Reddiyur, Salem 636 004, Tamilnadu, India
Telephone: +91 427 2336401

Maharashtra Region
Program Officer
Project Concern International/India,
“Yashashree”, 8 Panini Society, Santnagar,
Aranyeshwar, Pune 411 009, Maharashtra, India
Telephone: +91 20 24222717, 31017267

North East Region
Program Coordinator
Project Concern International/India,
Khongman East, Zone 5, Imphal East,
Manipur 795 001, India