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Arokiay Children Nutrition Project
“Arokiya” means “health” in Tamil language. The Arokiya –Children Nutrition Project of IAPA, being implemented since February 2011 aims at enhancing the wellness and life-prolonging of HIV Positive children through provision of nutrition supplement in Chennai and the peripheral areas. India has an estimated 220,000 children infected by HIV. It is estimated that 55,000 to 60,000 children are born every year to mothers who are HIV-positive (http://www.unicef/infobycountry/India_background.html). On discussion with the medical officers we came to understand that there was no proper impetus or importance given to nutrition in the continuum of care, leading to the health conditions of children, being seriously compromised. This project envisages filling this gap.
In this aspect, we identified a group of HIV positive children, who are not attached to any care homes, but are living with their parents, mostly with their grandparents. An initial meeting of these children and their care givers was held at SMIS on 26th January, 2011, wherein we have found that the children on ART do not have proper nutrition as they are very poor. Hence the paramount need for this project. IAPA is supporting some care-homes of children as well as adult nutrition program of SMIS, but this project will be a directly implemented project of IAPA, where-in the nutrition will be directly supplied to beneficiary children. Monthly nutrition supplement items consist of milk, Horlicks, health mix powder, cereals and dates, as well as rice. At present there are 15 children in this project.
One of the objectives of this project is also to provide training to care givers. The training would consist of care and support of children living with HIV, nutrition and the preparation of nutritious food, with locally available resources. First phase of the training had already taken place, which has ensured some awareness among them and the skill to provide nutrition-rich food, safe food. In subsequent trainings they would be further trained in care and support and to prepare balanced diet and pave the way for sustaining the program.
The project monitors the progress of the children by taking the height, weight and head circumference of the children. Some significant reduction in growth amongst a few children had been noted and they are being referred Community Care Center of SMIS for treatment. To this end, a Wellness Record is being maintained with updated data about each child included in the project. In the future, we envisage including more disadvantaged children in the project.
Poshak Adult Nutrition Project
IAPA is implementing this project, since February 2011, for the care givers of HIV Positive children who are covered under IAPA’s Arokiya Project for the children. While we provide nutrition packets to the children, we didn’t want to leave out the care givers of the children, who are mostly their grandparents. Hence we provide them the provisions for them, so that they would be able to have at least a square meal a day. The provisions consist of rice, dhal, sugar, and cooking oil. This is given on monthly basis. One of the important component of the Poshak project is the “Nutrition Training to Care Givers”. In the training we provide them the knowledge about nutrition and the skill to cook food that are safe, nutritious and makes use of locally available resources.
IAPA’s video Project
The video project of IAPA is collaboration between some Chennai city colleges, Apple Curry studios, a reputed company making ad films and IAPA. Through this project, we enrol students pursuing degree in Visual Communication, and who are looking out for internship. Then they are given training in HIV/AIDS and asked to come up with a story that would educate young IAPA’s video Project The video project of IAPA is collaboration between some Chennai city colleges, Apple Curry studios, a reputed company making ad films and IAPA. Through this project, we enrol students pursuing degree in Visual Communication, and who are looking out for internship. Then they are given training in HIV/AIDS and asked to come up with a story that would educate young people. The Apple Curry Studio provides all technical support, including the equipment and personnel. So far we have produced 6 videos during 2007-2009. Now, we are using all the videos in our HIV/AIDS education. The material produces by youth, for the youth is making quite an impact. After studying the impact, we hope to start producing more videos in the coming years.For more information click here.
TB Awareness Project
This is a small project awarded to IAPA, by the NGO, REACH, who are Nodal Agency for implementing awareness programs aimed at eradicating Tuberculosis (TB), from the Global Fund (GFATM), Round 9. By this project, IAPA conducts 2 TB awareness programs every month for different communities, like slum people, SHG women, students and so on.
The Project entitled “Mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS through Training/Capacity Building of Selected NGOs/CBOs working in developmental fields in Tamil Nadu”, is a pilot project of IAPA, being implemented in 2011. The goal of the project is to scale up HIV/AIDS awareness programs in Tamil Nadu, through mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in collaboration with stakeholders in the development fields. This project was conceived by IAPA, due to the paramount need for including HIV/AIDS in the activities of all the NGOs in Tamil Nadu. At present only particular NGOs are working in HIV/AIDS field and the government is intending to reduce HIV/AIDS activities, as the incidence of HIV has tapered down in Tamil Nadu, as per the surveys conducted by it. But we felt that there was no room for complacency, as the infection could rise up at anytime as happened in many countries, hence our aim to mainstream HIV/AIDS activities.
There are many grass root level NGOs, engaged in a plethora of activities like tribal development, rural women and youth empowerment, rural infrastructure development and so on, who have never received any training or capacity building in HIV/AIDS, but are working with big populations.
The mainstreaming project would be piloted in Chennai and another rural district, where 10 NGOs would be selected and 2 persons from each NGO will be trained in all aspects of HIV/ AIDS and how it could be mainstreamed in their own activities, in their own areas of projects. Thus in one year we envisage training 40 NGO personnel. A Training Need Assessment (TNA) would be conducted, followed by, Curriculum Development and then the actual training of the NGO personnel. During the training the NGO personnel concerned would be asked to develop an Action Plan as to how they would be mainstreaming HIV/AIDS in their activities. Follow up visits would be taken up by resource persons and IAPA India personnel. We had already selected 10 NGOs in Chennai and going ahead to conduct the TNA. The first training will take place in Chennai in December, as per the time line. We hope to replicate the project in other districts as well, when the pilot project is successfully implemented this year.
This is a new initiative of IAPA, which is under development. It is a collaborative Partnership for HIV Clinical Care and Training. The primary goal of the project is to strengthen the delivery of clinical care to HIV positive patients in Chennai and the US through shared medical training, open forums for quality improvement and interpersonal development.
The project would provide relevant training experience to 1-3 US resident Physicians and equal number of Indian Physicians at the Government Hospital for Thoracic Medicine’s HIV wards, outpatient clinics and rural health centers. The physicians, from both countries, by working together, in training and providing clinical treatment in urban and rural settings, would be able to produce combined improvement projects that would benefit the HIV positive communities of Chennai (India) and the US.
Structured forums would be provided for discussion and exchange and for treatment strategies challenges and sharing of resources amongst clinical leadership. As an upshot of these, the delivery of health care to these marginalized people would be greatly enhanced. We had submitted a concept paper on this to the then Tamil Nadu State Secretary of Health, who had asked us to submit a full proposal. In all probability the project will take off from the year 2012
Summer Volunteer Program(SVP)
Every year IAPA implements the Summer Volunteer Program (SVP), to educate the school and University students in Chennai, in scientific facts of HIV/AIDS. Volunteers from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University are recruited, trained for 6 months, before coming to Chennai. In Chennai they remain for 2 months, conducting HIV/AIDS education program to students of educational institutions, together with trained Indian counterparts. In 2011, we were able to teach HIV/AIDS curriculum to more than 6000 students, in the schools and universities in Chennai. Additionally, we also traveled to one of the villages in the southern district of Erode and provided HIV/AIDS education to rural people. (click here to read SVP 2011 Report for more information). During the SVP, the volunteers get a chance to relish the beauty of India, by travelling to far-off places, like the state of Kerala, with its serene backwaters, house boats, temples and elephants. During week-end they go out to explore the sunny city of Chennai and enjoy its South Indian culinary delights, provided in a plethora of restaurants. The SVP provides a lasting impression in the lives of the American Volunteers, making an impact in their perception of life and service to people. Some of them even make it a point to come back again and relive the experience once again.