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23 Jan 2021, Edition - 2020, Saturday

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Coimbatore

AIDS: Focussing on prevention rather than cure

Covai Post Network

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A UNICEF report points out that since 2000, the number of people dying from AIDS has tripled. A report released by United Nations states that India ranks third in terms of the number of people with AIDS. A survey carried out by the United Nations in the Asia-Pacific region says that out of 20 lakh people in India, four out of every 10 people are living with AIDS.

This has resulted in the increasing need to spread the awareness about HIV and AIDS among people. Coimbatore too observed World AIDS Day (December 1). The focus on this day is to spread awareness among the public about causes, symptoms and preventive measures.

National Service Scheme (NSS) students of SNR and Sons College participated in a rally to create awareness about AIDS. This rally was flagged off by V. Ramakrishna, COO of SNR Sons Trust. Students carried placards that read messages on how this disease can be prevented. In order to create awareness about AIDS, students distributed pamphlets to the public with messages about prevention of this disease. Students also formed a human chain from Nava India Bus stop to SNR and Sons College.

A month prior to World AIDS Day, the team of volunteers of Targeted Interventions (TI) Migrants project of the Native Medical Charitable Trust (NMCT) were busy spreading awareness about AIDS among the migrant workers in Covai. This project was launched in Coimbatore city about a year ago with the aim of spreading awareness about AIDS among the migrant workers who are employed in various industries in Coimbatore.

“Coimbatore has textile and hosiery industries, constructions sites, stone quarries, and construction material producing companies, estates, and small scale industries. The job opportunities that Coimbatore city offers has attracted migrant workers from across the country. Sadly, such migrant workers have inadequate knowledge of preventive strategies and lack of access to health care. They are at a high risk and are vulnerable to AIDS. Hence there is a felt need for prevention of AIDS among these migrants and the project intervention with the funding support from Tamil Nadu State Aids Control Society (TANSACS) has been implemented in Coimbatore from January 2014,” R Srikumar, Project Manager, TI Migrants Project, Coimbatore says.

As part of this project, the group of 15 volunteers identified and visited industries that have a high population of migrant workers and for the last 10 days the team has been interacting with workers and making them aware of the causes, symptoms and prevention of this disease. Through street plays, short films and personal interactions the team has successfully reached out to more than one hundred migrant workers in the city this year.

The team has identified nine migrant workers who are living with AIDS. Their medical expenses are sponsored by this Trust.

The Shanti Ashram is also supporting the families of the persons living with AIDS. At present, it supports 36 such families.

Assisi Snehalaya has nearly 50 inmates living with AIDS. Sadly, 40 of them are children, disowned by their families. It also offers counselling, care and medical support.

National Service Scheme, Red Ribbon Club and Nanjiah Linkammal Polytechnic College jointly conducted a World AIDS Day programme at Mettupalayam here on Tuesday.

According to the 2014 statistics, there are as many as 94,520 people living with AIDS in the State.

Awareness rally by Thiyaga Manichudar and Friends of Police was conducted from Women’s polytechnic to VOC grounds.

More than 100 participated and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Nisha Parthiban flagged off the rally.

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