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:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... first ever copper, antimicrobial, mesh back 24/7 task chair specifically designed for clinical ... “We are thrilled to partner with Cupron® to provide customers with a ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... After raising nearly $30,000 on Kickstarter , ... be available at a discounted crowdfunding price on Indiegogo . , “Along with ... also wanted to bring a fidget toy to the market that was made of ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2017 , ... Silver Birch ... community, which is located on more than four acres of land at 5620 Sohl ... , The 103,000 square-foot building includes 125 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each of ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Dr. Alex Rabinovich, a highly-skilled oral surgeon specializing in ... post on insurance options. If a Bay Area patient has to search for a ... money. Visiting an in-network provider for a second opinion can ensure a patient receives ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... “THE FLINTHILLS FAMILY-Our Journey to the Cross”: the personal journey of Bob ... is the creation of published authors, Bob and Margaret Massey. Bob Massey is small ... "panther quick and leather tough." His love for others is apparent in all of ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2017)... 25, 2017  In response to the opioid epidemic ... Relief is working with Pfizer to make up to ... cost to community health centers, free and charitable clinics, ... "Pfizer has a long-standing commitment to improving ... patient safety through educational activities," said Caroline Roan ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... , May 18, 2017  Two Bayer U.S. ... Association (HBA) during its recent 28 th ... City.  The event showcases HBA,s longstanding mission of furthering ... of healthcare. Cindy Powell-Steffen , senior ... U.S. Radiology division, and Libby Howe , a ...
(Date:5/11/2017)... 11, 2017  Thornhill Research Inc. ( ... an $8,049,024 USD five-year, firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-quantity/indefinite-delivery contract by ... Commercial Corporation (CCC) ( Ottawa, Ontario, Canada ... administer general anesthesia to patients requiring emergency medical ... US Marine Corps have been a longtime partner ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: