Aarti Dhar

Will be based on the Tamil Nadu model, where such clinics are run at the primry health centres

Union Ministry formulating guidelines Early diagnosis and treatment integral part of disease prevention

NEW DELHI: The Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry is formulating comprehensive guidelines for establishing and managing special centres to deal with reproductive tract and sexually transmitted infections.

These are the most important causes of reproductive and peri-natal morbidity and mortality in India.

There is an increased risk of HIV/AIDS in people suffering from these infections.

The centres will be based on the model in Tamil Nadu, where primary health centres (PHCs) are run exclusively as reproductive tract infection/sexually transmitted infection management clinics once or twice a week, depending upon the case load and requirement in an area.

The clinics are conducted in the afternoon to provide confidentiality and to optimally utilise PHC staff time.

Early diagnosis and treatment of the infections is an integral part of disease prevention and therefore the Government is now focusing on addressing the issue at the PHC level.

Other important steps are partner management and counselling for safe sex, including use of condoms.

The Ministry believes that these functions can easily be done at the PHCs with the existing facilities. In complicated cases, where diagnosis is not possible without laboratory facilities, patients can be referred to a higher facility. Community outreach activities will complement action needed to prevent these infections.