Vihaan Care and Support Programme Review Meeting
A national-level review meeting of the Vihaan Care and Support programme was organised from 16 – 19 March, 2021 at Jaipur, Rajasthan. The civil society, community networks and CBO partners as well as government and other stakeholders associated with the programme came together to reflect on the progress, achievements and challenges while discussing the strategies and priorities of the next implementing cycle 2021- 2024. Taking this opportunity, two documents were released – 1) Process Documentation from Resilient & Empowered Adolescent & Young People (Ready++) Initiative 2) Compilation of stories of outreach workers during Mission Sampark drive. These documents recognize and highlight the commitment and dedication demonstrated by the outreach workers, our foot-soldiers in delivering quality care and support services to our communities.
Alliance India also recognised the significant contribution made by the sub-recipient of the Global Fund grant to implement the Vihaan programme – Lepra Society, Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT), Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT), and Tamilnadu Network of Positive People +AP in providing technical support to the CSC implementing partners. The four partners who have been part of the programme since the beginning were felicitated by the dignitaries Dr Maninder Kaur, National Consultant, CST, NACO, Dr G. L. Meena, APD, Rajasthan SACS, and R.K. Soni JD, CST, Rajasthan SACS.
The large scale pan-India programme with support from the Global Funds has been in implementation since 2013 with the consortium consisting of NACO, SACS, ART centres, civil society organizations (CSOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and the national, state and district level networks of people living with HIV. In every implementing cycle, the programme has learnt from the community and adopted strategies to enhance early detection partners/spouses and children of PLHIV, early initiation of treatment and retention in HIV care. Moreover, enhancing access to social entitlements and welfare schemes contributing towards a comprehensive continuum of care service provision for the improvement of the overall quality of life of people living with HIV.
Vihaan programme is now stepping into the fourth phase of implementation and building on the key lessons learnt, the programme is focusing on strengthening differentiated care and support services and expand reach to the most vulnerable, and hard-to-reach population with the aim to provide holistic care and support services. The programme will focus on advanced disease management, reduce co-morbidity, address attributing factors to mortality, build community resilience, and strengthen public and private healthcare systems.
Strengthening Healthcare Systems and Community Resilience
The programme will make significant efforts towards enhancing private and public healthcare systems to ensure quality treatment and care and a robust patient support system. For the first time, Vihaan Care & Support will undertake mapping of private healthcare providers for streamlining information sharing between the private and public healthcare providers and enabling client cross-referral. The programme will work closely with the private healthcare providers to adhere to the national treatment guidelines and create the data reporting mechanism ensuring uniform, consistent and cohesive HIV response of the national programme to help India reach its 95:95:95 goal.
The community-led model of the Vihaan programme has been recognised as an integral part of the national HIV programme as a care and support component. The Care and Support Centres (CSCs) being established under the national programme will continue to be provided with technical support and hand-holding for the smooth transition and integration into the national programme. To strengthen the public health systems, the programme will continue to work with various actors in public healthcare. In addition, the programme will be working with select ART Centres requiring intensive technical support on a priority basis.
Furthermore, the programme will focus on building community resilience and sustainability so they in turn create a conducive and enabling environment for people living with HIV and those at high risk of HIV. The community will be empowered to continue working closely with the government bridging the gaps, providing feedback, voicing grievances and continuously feeding into the national programme. The programme will continue advocacy to sustain the community-led model contributing to the national goals of eliminating HIV.
Vihaan Care & Support programme of Alliance India enhances treatment adherence and retention in HIV care for people living with HIV in India. The programme is implemented nationwide in a diverse partnership with the government, civil society, and the networks of people living with HIV. The programme serves nearly 1.4 million PLHIV through its 319 Care and Support Centres spread across 28 states and 4 union territories in India.
~ Written by Tara Rana, Communication Officer