NACO, Global Fund sign agreement on HIV/AIDS related services in India

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, September 8, 2010

The Government of India and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) today signed a three-year grant agreement for $ 128.4 million (Rs 609.9 crore) to support the continuation of the flagship programmes of the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

The agreement was signed during a meeting between Mr K Chandramauli, Secretary and Director General, NACO and Dr Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, GFATM here.

The programmes covered under the grant agreement include Integrated Counseling and Testing Centres (ICTCs), Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) services aimed at preventing new-born infants from contracting HIV from their mothers and HIV-TB collaborative services.

An official press release said the overall goal of the grant would be to reach and diagnose an estimated 65 per cent of the HIV-infected people in India and link them to care, support and treatment services. In order to achieve this, NACO through this grant aims to counsel and test 1.82 crore clients annually in as many as 10,700 ICTCs by the end of the project (2012). Special focus will be given to antenatal women, high- risk groups such as female sex workers, men who have sex with men, intravenous drug users as well as people with sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis.

The release said NACO also intended to work in collaboration with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and increase the number of facility integrated ICTCs in Primary Health Centres from 1000 currently to 4755. The number of facility integrated ICTCs under the Public Private Partnership scheme in private sector will also be increased from 266 to 1600 by the end of the three-year period.

Of the estimated 65,000 HIV-positive pregnant women in the country, NACO will reach and identify 60 per cent of them to administer prophylactic treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission under the PPTCT programme. In order to achieve this target, 83 lakh pregnant women will be annually counseled and tested in ICTCs.

In the three-year period an estimated 70 per cent of HIV-infected TB patients will be detected through an intensified package of HIV-TB collaboration services.

In addition, the capacity of the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) and 20 State Institutes of Health and Family Welfare and five National Institutes under TB programme will also be built through the establishment of an HIV unit, with requisite infrastructure and human resource strengthening. Also, cold storage units will be set up in 110 warehouses across the country to store thermolabile products like rapid HIV diagnostic kits and so on. Further, to improve supply chain management, a nationwide logistics management and information system will be installed, the release said.

According to the release, NACO has recently applied for the Round 10 funding of the Global Fund. The proposal is to reduce vulnerability among most at risk migrant population, so that the HIV epidemic can be contained. India’s revised migrant strategy envisages identifying high out migration locations at source and transit (besides destination), providing the migrant population information about HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and safe migration.

Linking this population to public health services for STI, ICTCs, anti-retroviral therapy, Rashtriya Swasthiya Bima Yojana (National Health Insurance Scheme), Village Health Nutrition Day and so on are the key areas expected to be addressed by the village level workers and Volunteer Peer Leaders in the revised migrant strategy, the release added.