Tuesday, February 3, 2015

“Use the evidence-based approach and scientific tools and services enhances the reach of Link workers scheme for zeroing HIV/AIDS”.-DRP, Trichirapalli-SEVAI


Link Workers project :SEVAI Team

“Use the evidence-based approach and scientific tools and services enhances the reach of Link workers scheme for zeroing HIV/AIDS”.-mentioned by DRP, Trichirapalli-SEVAI. ‘The Link workers scheme is being implemented by SEVAI in Trichrapalli District with the guidance and support of TANSACS and NACCO to fight against HIV/AIDS particularly in rural areas’ informed by District Resource Person of Trichirapalli District, Subramanian in a  training session of Link workers of this project. He further it becomes more pronounced in view of stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV, resulting in poor access to health care, gender inequality and above all infections going undetected or treated by unqualified practitioners. The primary health care system has limited scope and capacity to deal with the sensitive issues like HIV, sexuality and drug use. Keeping this in mind, Link worker Scheme has been conceived for building the capacity of the rural community in fighting with HIV and the scheme envisages identifying and training, village level workforce of Supervisors, Link Workers and volunteers on issues of HIV/AIDS, gender, sexuality, STIs and above all on mobilizing difficult-to-reach, especially vulnerable sub populations including high risk individuals, youth and women. Linking these marginalized sub populations to the public health services for STI, ICTC, ART and then their follow up back to communities is one of the key areas that is expected to be addressed by theses Link Workers, generating volunteerism among the community for fighting HIV/AIDS and inculcating health values is another cornerstone of this strategy.. Subramanian further said.The specific objective of the scheme includes to Reach out to HRGs and vulnerable men and women in rural areas with information, knowledge, skills on STI/HIV prevention and risk reduction by ensuring the availability and use of condoms among HRGs and other vulnerable men and women, establishing referral and follow-up linkages for various services including treatment for STIs, testing and treatment for TB, ICTC/PPTCT services, HIV care and support services including ART and Creating an enabling environment for PLHA and their families, reducing stigma and discrimination against them through interactions with existing community structures/ groups, e.g. Village Health Committees (VHC) , Self Help Groups (SHG) and Panchayati Raj Institutes (PRI)”. DRP Added “Link Workers are to reach out to those at risk and vulnerable individuals or groups who are at present not able to access to HIV related information and services. The scheme promotes risk reduction and motivates community members to adopt behaviour change. The Link work services provided under the scheme will ensure reaching out to key populations, linking them up with programmes and services and educating them about the modes of prevention. The Link Workers provides HIV related information, demonstrate condom use, distribute condoms, refer patients for appropriate services and do follow-up to monitor and facilitate the consistent use of these services with the focus on advocating for availability of quality services and reduction of stigma and discrimination against HRG and PLHIV and advocating for availability of quality services and reduction of stigma and discrimination against HRG and PLHIV. Community members are to be facilitated to develop ownership and sustain the scheme beyond the life of the programme. Formation of youth groups, Red Ribbon Clubs and involvement of volunteers are encouraged to ensure that the efforts are sustained”.-Govin

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