Staff Correspondent

Training programme held for employees of government departments

Belgaum: The District AIDS Prevention and Control Unit (DAPCU) Officer, V.B. Kulkarni, has called upon members of all sections of society to collectively work to check the spread of HIV/AIDS in Belgaum district.

Addressing HIV/AIDS Mainstreaming Training Programme here on Wednesday, Dr. Kulkarni observed that when a large number of people in their prime productive age are HIV positive, it not only affects the social fabric but also the economy of the country.

The training programme was held for employees of different government departments. It was organised by the Department of Women and Child Development, DAPCU, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, and BIRDS, a non-governmental organisation based in Nagnur.

Dr. Kulkarni highlighted the role of the DAPCUs in checking the spread of HIV in the district by way of involving various government departments and voluntary organisations.

Services

District Health Officer Dillip Kumar Munoli, who inaugurated the programme, said the district hospital was providing a host of services for persons with HIV, including counselling, treatment for opportunistic infections and free antiretroviral therapy (ART) drugs.

Deputy Director of the Department of Women and Child Development V.N. Metti, said HIV positive pregnant women should utilise the services offered by the Government to prevent their babies from being infected by the disease. Free Prevention of Parent to Child Transmission (PPTCT) programme was being implemented in every taluk and district hospital, he added.

Nandita S. Sugandhi, professor at the Beylor College of Medicine, spoke on the PPTCT programme, steps to be taken to prevent HIV in children and support that needs to be given to people with HIV.

K.S. Appannawar, Programme Officer, Department of Women and Child Welfare Department, spoke on the need to treat children of HIV positive parents on a par with other children.

He said HIV-affected persons were discriminated against in rural areas even today. He explained how important it was to extend support and care to HIV positive people while initiating measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

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