With the onset of the festival season, the Odisha State AIDS Control Society (OSACS) has decided to make the most of its campaign against HIV/AIDS by mounting an IEC drive across nine districts which report the highest rate of migration.
Under this programme, Angul, Balasore, Bargarh, Balangir, Rayagada, Ganjam, Khurda, Koraput and Sambalpur will be covered for 50 days from October 3.
Since the State experiences a high rate of migration and it is during the festivals that the migrants return home from high prevalent states, they are likely to spread the infection in their villages. To reach out to these migrants and their spouses during these days, the OSACS has decided to undertake the drive along with medical camps which it had conducted on a smaller- scale earlier.
During the arrival of Red Ribbon Express-III (RRE) in July, over 3 lakh persons were covered under the programme. The RRE counselled 5,023 persons and tested 4,380 HIV positive, while training 7,435 persons from different sectors.
The OSACS has decided to build on the success of RRE and planned the launch of the IEC campaign on a large scale during the festival season.
IEC VANS: Meanwhile, under National AIDS Control Programme’s NACP-NRHM convergence, a mobile health unit of NRHM for health camps and nine IEC vans with folk troupes for awareness by OSACS have started to roll.
The IEC vans were flagged off by Health and Family Welfare Minister Damodar Rout and will start their work from October 3.
The vans with branding of OSACS will have folk troupes, makeshift exhibition covering issues related to HIV/AIDS, Reproductive and Child Health Programme, TB, malaria and other public health disorders. These vans will have audio systems and adequate IEC materials.
A mobile health unit with an ANM, a counsellor and a lab technician will also move while condom promotion stalls will be hosted by social marketing organisations. With one session per day, a mobile unit will provide services at 25 sites a month and IEC van will cover 125 villages a month under the convergence programme.