Community care centres will be given a new role in the phase III of the National AIDS Control and Prevention (NACP) programme,Dr B B Rewary,National Adviser,Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) said on Friday. The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) will provide funds for setting up a ten-bedded health facility at the centre mainly for HIV patients with minor illnesses from other cities.
Rewary,who was in Pune,visited National AIDS Research Institute (NARI) on Thursday and Armed Forces Medical College on Friday. He told The Indian Express that a total of 350 community care centres will be set up in the country. At present,there are 254 community care centers which will be linked to 217 ART centres.
We want to ensure a close coordination between the community care centres and the ART centres, Rewary said. This will ensure that HIV positive patients adhere to treatment. Currently,there are 2.3 lakh HIV patients,who are on ART in the country. Out of these,462 are on second line treatment as they are resistant to the first line of anti HIV drugs.
Each ART centre will be told to supply a list of HIV patients to the community care centres which,in turn,will be responsible for ensuring that they come for treatment. There will be outreach workers who will track the patients not reporting regularly for treatment. Hence,there will be better adherence to ART, Rewary said.
The unique quality of the community care centres is that they will include a ten-bedded health facility. So people travelling from other cities can stay over to undergo medical tests. HIV patients,who have minor illnesses,can also be treated at the community care centres,Rewary said. To take care of children living with HIV and who do not have parents,the government would set up ten such community care centres,he said.
Pune may get another ART facility
NACO has also set up 100 link ART centres which is closer to the patients homes at districts. This is aimed at reducing travel time,said Rewary. He said that concerns like lack of space and salaries of staff at ART centres came up during review meetings. There are plans to set up a fourth ART centre in Pune,Rewary said. He,however,pointed out that a feasibility study was being conducted before announcing the fourth centre. Three ART centres are operational at Sassoon General hospital,AFMC,and NARI.