During the 1980's, even doctors were hesitant to approach HIV positive patients in Ahmadnagar. Dr. Girish Kulkarni started providing medical treatment to destitute HIV positive children and women in his own home. Snehalaya started the first free Community Care Center, a small clinic in a municipal school, in red light areas of Bhagat and Chitra lane in Ahmednagar city in 1989.
By 2010, Snehalaya has provided medical care and treatment to more than 12 thousand HIV affected patients in Ahmadnagar district and has helped prevent explosion of this disease by various programs of education and rehabilitation.
Under the National AIDS Control Programme Phase- II, 122 Community Care Centers (CCC) were to be set up, nationwide - to provide treatment for minor OIs (opportunistic infections) and psychosocial support through sustained counseling. CCCs were intended to function as a bridge between hospitals and home care.
In 2008, Snehalaya's community care center was appointed as a service provider under this programme and was linked with ART Center (Civil Hospital, Ahmednagar).
Initially the CCCs were envisaged as stand-alone short-stay homes for PLHAs (People living with HIV/AIDS). The progression of the infection and consequent weakening of the immune system results in PLHAs being vulnerable to various infections. Some of these illnesses require in-patient care. Hence the CCC was transformed to a full fledged medical care center, playing a critical role in enabling ART ( Anti-Retroviral Treatment) as well as providing services of monitoring, follow-up, counseling, positive prevention, drug adherence, nutrition, counseling etc.
It is estimated that Ahmednagar district has more than 20 thousand HIV affected people. Cost of treatment in private hospitals is unaffordable for majority of the population. The services available at the government hospitals are insufficient to address the enormity of the problem.
Realizing the importance of the treatment to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, Snehalaya has set up a 30 bedded hospital to provide the quality medical services to affected patients.
Facilities at Snehalaya Community care center
Wards for In Patients: 20 beds are exclusively provided for PLHA, supporting free admissions for upto 5 days. Trained nurses and doctors are available round the clock. The bed utilization is 100% and there is always a waiting list of several hundreds of patients for admission, into our wards.
Ambulance services: 24x7 stand by ambulance service is provided by the community care center and covers the whole of Ahmadnagar district.
Outpatient consultation and treatment: Outpatient services are provided 12 hours a day by qualified doctors who visit regularly
Lab services: Blood collection and testing room, Serum biochemistry, Basic Microscopy, Routine Hb, TC, DC, ESR and ECG
Pharmacy: The pharmacy addresses the needs of in-patients and out-patients, providing them with free medicines
Counseling: Trained psychologists work as volunteers to provide counseling to patients and their families
Other facilities: A separate kitchen, dining and recreation room, clean toilets, open space and gardens create a homely environment for the patients
Services offered at Snehalaya Community Care Center
Medical services offered in the community care center includes OI diagnosis and treatment, TB diagnosis and treatment, ART registration and screening, pain relief , symptomatic care, follow up and post exposure prophylaxis
In-patient admission on initiation, ART adherence support, education on nutrition, hygiene, watch out for side effects / complications, defaulter tracing and follow-up
Patients having infectious diseases like harpies, Tuberculosis etc, need to be treated in separate ward, so that the other normal patients will be safe from these diseases. 10 beds are reserved for these patients.
Referrals / Linkages:
Community care center works closely with VCTC, PPTCT, ART, RNTCP, STI, FP clinics. We provide information about Govt schemes for nutrition and shelter.
Education on Home based care:
Education is provided to patients and family members for care of bedridden patients, terminal care, hygiene and sanitation, infection prevention. Home based kit and first aid kits are distributed to patients' families.
Shelter and Protection:
Support is provided for respite home & destitute care, extended family, orphan care, reintegration into family, prevention and awareness building, promote correct and consistent condom use, support positive attitude & disclosure of status, STI treatment, PPTCT for positive pregnant women/spouse, OI prophylaxis and family planning education.
Advocacy against Stigma
Includes participation in DAC meetings, representation in EC of SACS, include positive people in care team, Village & School health, legal support and education in workplace and schools
Includes nutrition Education & Supplementation, link to other food programmes (WFP, CRS), mobilize community support for nutrition, treatment of nutritional deficiencies, deworming
Includes counseling and support for self-disclosure, family counseling, education about social security (insurance, savings) and social schemes (housing), life skills training, de addiction, psychological and psychiatric treatment and bereavement counseling
Statistics of Cases handled
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