Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Link Workers honoured for their involvement for working towards zeroing HIV/AIDS new infection in Trichirapalli District.

Link Workers of SEVAI express their solidarity in their mission

SEVAI a Trichy based NGO honored the Link Workers involved in Link Workers scheme (LWS) for significant reduction of HIV new infection in Trichirapalli District. In an Award distribution function held in SEVAI, the District Resource Person of LWS, Mr.Subramanian, of implementing NGO, SEVAI, spoke on this occasion, “NACO has designed the Link Worker Scheme (LWS) to provide HIV prevention, referral and follow up services to HRGs and vulnerable groups in rural areas. NACO, TANSACS, DAPCU and the implementing NGOs at the districts are closely involved in LWS. LWS is implemented in Trichirapalli District BY SEVAI with a strong management and technical support structure from TANSACS. The Link Workers Scheme is taken in a holistic approach to make it a success. Villages with an average population of 5000 and high risk behaviour fall in the priority list. High risk behavior meant higher percentage of activities involving male and female sex workers, which directly increased the chances of sexually transmitted Infection (STIs).Other than this, various other factors play a part in high risks of STIs in rural areas. The Link Worker Scheme as promoted by NACO and TANSACS took help from within the village to make the people more aware about the scheme and its benefits. Pamphlets, wall paintings were used to impart more information on the same. Under the LWS, villagers are taught the practice of safe sex. Free condoms are distributed in the area and young people and are educated about the harms of unprotected sexual activity; married couples are talked out of infidelity and multiple sexual partners.SEVAI- LWS Team also makes sure that the people are aware about the various government schemes. Link Workers reach out to those vulnerable populations who are not able to access to HIV related services. The Link Workers provide 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. The focus is also given on advocating for availability of quality services and reduction of stigma and discrimination against HRGs and PLHIV. Public events such as World AIDS Day, International Women’s Day were organised where thousands of people participated. The key achievements during this project period are significantly the Presence of trained link workers in 100 villages, Covered target population through outreach activities and there are People used services of ICTC and tested their HIV status, Mainstreaming HIV & AIDS activities were carried out with various departments, Linked to Govt Scheme, Advocacy cum sensitization Program etc”.The project Director of SEVAI, Dr.K.Govindaraju introduced the new guidelines given by NACO for the Link Workers Scheme to be followed from April 2015 and enlightened the eligible cluster link workers and Zonal supervisors and the other supervisory functionaries to adhere the guidelines given by NACO as closely monitored by TANSACS.- Govin

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