8 Sep : The Government of India and Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) today signed a three year grant agreement for US $ 128.4 million (Rupees 609.9 crore) to support the continuation of flagship programmes of National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), M/o Health & Family Welfare. The agreement was signed during a meeting between Shri K. Chandramouli, Secretary & Director General, NACO and Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, GFATM. The programmes covered under the grant agreement include Integrated Counseling and Testing services, 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.
The overall goal of the grant will be to reach and diagnose an estimated 65 percent 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 Integrated Counseling and Testing Centers (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.
NACO also intends to work in collaboration with the National Rural Health Mission and increase the number of facility integrated ICTCs in Primary Health Centers 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 percent 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 percent of HIV infected TB patients will be detected through an intensified package of HIV-TB collaboration services.
In addition, capacity of the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare (NIHFW) and 20 State Institutes of Health and Family Welfare and 5 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 etc. Further to improve supply chain management, a nation wide logistics management and information system will be installed.
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 etc are the key areas that is expected to be addressed by the village level workers and Volunteer Peer Leaders in the revised migrant strategy.