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IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE OF FAMILIES LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS
Goal: creation of positive and enabling environment for the peoples living with HIV/AIDS in Howrah District through health, nutrition, education and livelihood skill building support.
Objective: To improve quality of life of 30 selected families PLWHAS especially the women and children in Howrah district in terms of nutrition, education and livelihood support
· Food support to 108 members from 30 families
· Kitchen garden support to 15 families
· 45 students from 30 families
· 28 students were provided with coaching support
Family wise distribution
· 9 families with one HIV+ members
· 16 families with two HIV+ members
· 5 families with three HIV+ members
The HIV epidemic is occurring in the population where mal-nutrition is already endemic. The body’s response against the HIV virus is inadequate if the immune system is immature. Malnutrition, especially through its negative effects on the immune system, further aggravates HIV infection by increasing the risk of opportunistic infections and death. In turn, HIV-infected persons are at higher risk for malnutrition. Furthermore, for people on ART, a balanced diet and a better nutritional status may enhance the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs, improve adherence to treatment, reduce the side effects of medications and reduce the complications of opportunistic infections.
Providing nutritional support and periodical assessment of nutritional status through Body Mass Index was one of the main components of IQLFH project. Assessment of nutritional status and dietary habits has the following components:
· Food support to 108 members from 30 families (One full meal per day)
· Monitoring of BMI status [weight in kg/(height in mtr)2]
· Promotion of kitchen garden, supply of seeds and sapling
· Monitoring of CD4 count
· Maintenance of Menstrual Hygiene
· Regular de-worming
· Sensitization of beneficiaries on healthy living
ü Promotion of safe drinking water
ü Promotion of healthy hygiene practice – healthy food habit and cooking practice, water and sanitation
ü Construction of household latrine from panchayat support
The CD4 count is a test that measures how many white blood cells, called T- Cells have in some once blood. Through the test of CD4 counting, doctors can easily understand the damages has been done by HIV virus in immune system and what's likely to happen next if antiretroviral treatment (ART) is not initiated. However, all persons with HIV should be started on ART regardless of whether the CD4 count is high or low as per the present treatment guideline of govt. of India. Monitoring of regular CD4 counting is one of the components of the Project. The project team regularly monitoring them as per the dates mentioned in the CD4 Book. A system has been developed is that before sending anyone, project team confirm about the conditions of the CD4 counting machine. Same way, service providers also inform well in advance to project team about the working condition of machine Out of 57 beneficiaries 23 have improved their CD4 status from the baseline (50%).
Providing educational support to the students of 30 targeted families is another component of the project to ensure regular and formal education as well as to control drop-out from school. Total 45 students were supported with educational materials 28 students were attended in coaching classes. 6 students appeared for Madhyamik examination and out of them 4 passed out successfully and 2 students appeared for higher secondary examination. One is passed successfully.