Pediatric HIV Program
Prayas implemented the Pediatric HIV initiative from January 2008 to December 2010. This was supported by the Abbott Fund.
The initiative was designed to enhance and consolidate pediatric HIV services in the state of Maharashtra.
Background: Amrita Clinic has been providing care to pediatric HIV cases since 1992-1993. These children came from different districts of Maharashtra.
Challenges: Lack of necessary facilities for early diagnosis of HIV infected children, empirical management of pediatric HIV, lack of expertise in pediatricians to manage pediatric HIV and need for expansion of pediatric HIV services were the challenges.
The pediatric HIV program addressed these challenges through following activities.
Expansion of laboratory services
Instruments for DNA PCR testing for early infant diagnosis and viral load testing for better management of the disease were procured.
Early infant diagnosis to all HIV exposed babies registered in the PMTCT project was provided free of cost. CD4 counts, viral load and genotyping for drug resistance testing (when necessary) were also provided free to all HIV infected children coming to Prayas.
NGOs - Networking with and training of different district level networks of people living with HIV and NGOs working on HIV/AIDS and maternal and child health issues were conducted.
Development of resource material
Dhusar…’Blur’ - this film was prepared on the issue of HIV disclosure in HIV infected children. The film meant for caregivers of HIV infected children portrays the importance of disclosure and the possible consequences if the child is not disclosed about its disease.
Management of Pediatric HIV: A Physician’s Handbook – The handbook was developed by the team of Prayas with cooperation from many senior and experienced physicians.
Project Saturation Solapur
From June 2009, we undertook a six month project in the district of Solapur with an aim to saturate the district with PMTCT services. Solapur is one of the high prevalence districts in the state of Maharashtra.
To increase awareness among general population and health care providers about the issue of mother to child transmission of HIV, its prevention and about pediatric HIV.
Following activities were undertaken
- 40 peer educators (Prayas Maitrinee) trained to go from village to village for awareness programs.
- Awareness programs at village level.
- Workshop for Anganwadi workers.
- Training workshops for gynecologists, and pediatricians using innovative methods.
- Training workshops for general practitioners in different talukas of Solapur.
- Media campaign.