Navigation Links
Sex Workers Adopt IT Solutions to Fight AIDS

If you think IT is only for the white collar tech-savvy urbanites, think again. Marginalised sex workers in Karnataka are now swiping their newly acquired smart// cards to avail themselves of discounts on daily purchases while keeping a check on HIV/AIDS.

About 500 disorganised sex workers in Mysore and Mandya districts of Karnataka are now armed with smart cards that not only prompt them to get regular health check ups to keep track of their STI (sexually transmitted infections) status but also get discounts on their daily purchases - from grocery to perfumes.

This pilot project began in July in the two districts at the initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in association with the University of Manitoba, Canada. It can be replicated in the rest of India if proved successful, Sushena Reza-Paul, assistant professor at the university, told IANS from Mysore.

"When we started the STI prevention programme and issued health cards to the majority of illiterate women here, who are not brothel-based like Kolkata's Sonagachi red light area, we found that follow-up is a big problem. They come from villages and go back and there are several girls of the same name," said Reza-Paul, who is also an advisor to Ashodaya Mahila Samannaya Samity, a sex workers' organisation.

Reza-Paul said that these sex workers were initially given ID numbers, which they did not remember. Following this, they were issued health cards, but they did not attach much value to it.

"It was then that we thought of using IT solutions to get them interested in periodic health check ups for HIV/AIDS prevention by issuing cards that would also entitle them to get discounts on daily purchases. The economic benefit of the card will prompt them to get periodic health check ups, failing which the card cannot be renewed," said Reza-Paul.

"We contacted their preferred vendors from whom they buy their daily grocery, sari, refreshment s, and make-up. Then we sat with a software company and we merged the health card with a smart card," added Reza-Paul.

"Now the sex workers would be interested in renewing their cards every three months while keeping track of their expense patterns. The health record and status of any sex worker under the project will also be available at the click of a mouse in computers which have smart card terminals."

Mrinal Kanti Dutta, the former Sonagachi HIV/AIDS prevention project head, said the smart card approach could be a powerful weapon to fight infections among sex workers across the country.

"We are planning to write to Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram so that sex workers holding smart cards are given preferential treatment like senior citizens (who get one percent more interest) in various government saving schemes," said Dutta, who is now assisting sex workers of Karnataka to replicate the Sonagachi model.

Sonagachi's HIV/AIDS prevention project has been selected as the role model for a $200 million programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in six Indian states, including Karnataka.

"We want the sex workers to ultimately use the smart card like an ATM card to deposit their earnings in the bank and produce it before the police like an identity card to avoid harassment. The multi-sectoral approach will help us prevent STI," said Reza-Paul, admitting that the scheme is not without its teething problems.

National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) director general Sujata Rao too has shown interest in the project.

(Source: IANS)
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Popcorn Workers At Health Risk
2. A Move To Help Commercial Sex Workers Quit Their Business
3. Journal Recommends How To Improve The Performance Of Health Workers
4. Injury Rates High For Workers In Poultry Farms
5. Safety Of Indian Sex Workers At Risk Due To Poor Condom Usage
6. Poultry Workers To Adopt Anti-Flu Guidelines
7. Police should work as Mental Health Workers
8. Rehabilitate Sex Workers - Mata Amritanandamayi
9. Nearly 15% Of U.S. Workers Work Under The Influence Of Alcohol
10. Pay Cut Leads To Increased Levels Of Insomnia Among Workers
11. Monday Morning Blues Hit Sick British Workers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/22/2017)... ... April 22, 2017 , ... Brian Emmer brings more than ... and Business Development at OAKWORKS, Inc. Mr. Emmer is responsible for the ... planning for the company. Recognized industry-wide as a healthcare innovator, Emmer has ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... ... at Palm Beach Face is proud to announce that their practice founder, Michael Schwartz ... place on April 23rd, the London Marathon has a long tradition of raising funds for ... EMPOWER, raising money for the international charity, Smile Train. , Started in 1981 ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... Brady (NYSE:BRC), a global leader in industrial ... B-7569 vinyl label materials received certification for the BS5609 British Marine Standard. ... intact and legible, for use on chemical drums shipped by sea. , ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... , ... April 21, 2017 , ... The Patient Advocacy ... Health System, with the 2017 Ruth Ravich Patient Advocacy Award in recognition ... advocates. DeVaro was honored with the award at The Beryl Institute’s annual Patient ...
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... April 21, 2017 , ... The American Medical Student Association ... and Recovery Education, from April 24 to April 28, 2017, dedicated to increasing ... , The mission of AWARE is to instill a compassionate, total health approach ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/19/2017)... DALLAS , April 19, 2017  Vanderbilt University ... first patients in Nashville , Tennesse ... Lower Esophageal Sphincter Stimulation for GERD (LESS GERD) trial. ... to provide long-term reflux control by restoring normal function ... nearly 65 million people in the United ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... HANOVER, N.J. , April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... conducted by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood ... (NIH) demonstrating that 58% of patients with treatment-naïve ... six months when treated with eltrombopag at the ... 1 . The study evaluated three sequential treatment ...
(Date:4/18/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... their offering. ... devices market to grow at a CAGR of 6.35% during the ... 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with ... its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: