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Community centre for HIV patients in Dehradun closes for lack of funds

Shardul Nautiyal, Mumbai
Monday, December 07, 2015, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Community Care Centre (CCC) in Uttarakhand meant to serve the nutritional and counseling needs of people living with HIV/AIDS in Dehradun has closed down due to shortage of funds.

Dehradun based NGO Agnes Kunze Society (AKS) had proposed the state government to sanction an amount of Rs. 27.37 lakh for a year as it faced a severe fund crunch this year.

The NGO which was running the centre under its HOPE project with funding from Global Fund from 2009 to 2012 to the tune of Rs.20 lakh per annum had sent a proposal to the state government to further provide funds. To sustain the project in the interest of patients, the NGO, however, has been pooling funds on its own since 2013.

Following submission of the proposal, National Health Mission (NHM) officials, however, have not responded to the NGOs and social workers associated with the centre. Says an NGO official, "The fund shortage however has not been addressed and the concerned state agencies has turned down our proposal saying that funds cannot be provided."

The bed occupancy at the centre is 793 bed with 351 adult HIV positive patients and 158 HIV positive children registered with the centre. The centre which started in 2008 was implementing 2 programmes- CCC and Children Care and Support Centre (CSC) to offer residential, counseling and food/ nutritional facilities to HIV positive adults and HIV positive children. The centre used to get funds from Global Fund channeled through agencies like Population Foundation of India and HIV India Alliance from 2009 to 2012 and from 2014 to 2015. AKS had been able to manage the centre on its own during the year 2013 to 2014.

From the inception of the programme in January 1, 2008, Community Care Centres were being funded and run by Population Foundation of India (PFI) under supervision and monitoring of State AIDS Control Society.

Persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) often find that their family and community connections are shattered by the illness, fear and stigma that accompany it. The community care centre emphasizes that the most constructive answer to improving the quality of life lies in home and community members. Encouraging the direct involvement of PLHIV in counseling, prevention, support, fund-raising, income generation and care are all activities that directly alleviate the immediate situation. Psychological care of people with AIDS is another important aspect.

The number of people and families living with HIV/AIDS who need care and support services is continuously increasing. This poses tremendous challenges to the health care and community systems that are coping with and responding to the pandemic.

 

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