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:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: ... souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is ... Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches a class of ladies at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest ... its plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. ... Go store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... a leader in post-acute health care, have expanded their existing home health joint ... Health. , AccentCare has been operating a joint venture home health company with ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... Leading ... their peers in Washington, D.C., for the 49th Congress of the International Society ... ., Vice President of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... $3,296 in property taxes a year. In some states—like New York, New Jersey, ... By contrast, many overseas retirement havens have extremely low property-tax rates, which contributes ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... EXTON, Pa. , Oct. 10, 2017   ... leader in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today ... of West,s ID Adapter for improving the intradermal administration ... the Fourth Skin Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by ... Team Lead, Polio Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare ... CPR training aide "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will ... during cardiac arrests with better efficiency compared to the ... offers real-time feedback on efficacy of the compression for ... campaign has a goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO ... LLC , and named its founder as Diplomat,s chief ... Tennessee , will operate under Diplomat subsidiary ... offerings for health care partners to include IT outsourcing, ... "In an interoperable world, technology delivers comprehensive insight ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: