Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Praising South Africa’s initiatives in workplace interventions to combat HIV/AIDS, Minister for Health and Family Welfare S. Chandrasekhar said they would take a leaf out of the South African model.

At a press conference here on Friday, the Minister narrated experiences during a visit to South Africa between May 17 and 22, with a delegation. He said while workplace interventions in Andhra Pradesh were appreciable, there were other initiatives that the State could follow.

Nkosi’s Haven

In particular, he said work at Nkosi’s Haven, an orphanage dedicated to providing support to HIV positive children, was appreciable.

The orphanage was named Nkosi after a HIV positive baby who was the first child speaker at the Durban World AIDS Congress.

She was on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) but died in 2001 because her foster mother and founder of Nkosi’s Haven could not afford further treatment.

Pilot project

Mr. Chandrasekhar said the AP State AIDS Control Society (APSACS) was working on a proposal whereby the South African model would be implemented as a pilot project in one district.

Depending on its success, the model of having an orphanage could be replicated in other districts of the State, he said.

Earlier, Additional Director, APSACS, B. Kalidas said that workplace interventions in South Africa were very effective, considering that HIV positives constituted a whopping 25 per cent of the country’s population.