Chandipur Mother & Child Welfare Society, in partnership with Bengal Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS tied up with district networks, to achieve the following objectives:
Building capacity of the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS to track children.
Assessing the profile of these children, their families and the extent to which these children are able to access basic services related to health, nutrition and education.
Sixty trained HIV positive network members collected the information in 2010–11. Information collected from the families have HIV/AIDS infected or exposed children. The study team traced 1,639 children in 995 families, out of whom 857 children were reported as HIV infected and 130 were exposed children. To gather more qualitative information, number of FGDs & consultations were held.
72% families fall in BPL category and mostly engaged in unorganised sector
29% of fathers and 33% of mothers illiterate
65% mothers not received any PPTCT services during their last pregnancy
11% transmission through contaminated blood and blood products
60% children receive care from a single institution
43% families have spent an out of pocket expense
Very few children who were tracked are below 2 years of age, indicating late detection & initiation of treatment
65% of eligible children attend school & 62% children, < six years are enrolled in ICDS
Parents exhibit an inherent fear of stigma and discrimination
The study reveals that most of these children belong to poor socio-economic condition. It emphasises the need to improve existing services in terms of timely access to appropriate medicine, treatment and nutrition.
It also strongly recommends the need to scale up the coverage of services towards virtual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV. There is need to change in attitude of service providers and society at large to remove stigma and discrimination.