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IRCS Consortium For HIV Program
New Delhii- 6th February
The Indian Red Cross set up a Consortium of Red Cross partners two years ago to help contain HIV/AIDS cases in India and provide care and support to those living with it. The members are the IFRC and the national Red Cross Societies of America. British, Danish, Finnish, German, Spanish and Swedish which are supporting the activities. The members are in regular touch with each other to provide technical inputs and provide direction to the programs. The first meeting of the partners in 2007 was held today to apprise the members about the achievements and to discuss the plan of action for the current year.  

Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Mr. Naresh Dayal, invited the Indian Red Cross to become a partner in government's national HIV/AIDS program. Inaugurating the Red Cross India Consortium Meeting, Mr. Dayal talked about the need of synergy where in all actors in the field of health should join hands to address the problem. Talking about the government initiative, he mentioned that under National Rural Health Mission 3 lakh ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) women volunteers have been trained, Clinton's foundation role in paediatric care has been activated and rural health infrastructure is being strengthened. All these are showing good results.


Dr. S.P. Agarwal, Secretary General, IRCS informed that “the Indian Red Cross Society is running youth peer education program (YPEP) in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. It also has care and support program in Tamil Nadu in the form of day care centre for the children of HIV positive parents and nutritional and hygienic support for HIV positive patients in India's largest hospital caring for them, named Thambaram Hospital at Chennai”.

Dr B.B. Rewari, National Program Officer, National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) in his presentation informed that one out of every 8 HIV positive persons today is an Indian and the country has 1.60 lakh positive cases. He added that the government has planned to spend Rs 11000 crores in phase III on the HIV program.

Ms Anitta Underlin, Head of the Regional Delegation of the IFRC mentioned that the Federation has triggered off a global initiative to contain HIV. She reaffirmed the support for the program in the south Asia region.

The partners expressed their satisfaction on the progress made and recommended that better community reach needs to be strengthened as the program needs to be scaled up in a big way.
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