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Home Year 2010 Highway healthcare centre at Aslali a hit with truckers

Highway healthcare centre at Aslali a hit with truckers

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12 Aug 2010, Ahmedabad, India
NEARLY a month since its opening, a healthcare centre for truckers at Aslali, the transport hub of Ahmedabad on the city’s southern periphery, is getting a good response. Opened with equal funding from Apollo Tyre Foundation and Kaira Social Service Society, a Diocesan social service centre, and technical support from Gujarat State AIDS Control Society (GSACS), the centre has already given counselling to nearly 50 truckers, according to Fr Joseph Appavoo, the director of the Society, who said around 5,000 trucks pass daily through the nodal point of Aslali.

Trained workers, doctors and laboratory technicians have started reaching out to truckers and have identified some of them having sexually transmitted infection (STI) but thankfully, none tested positive for HIV, he said.

According to Dr Pradeep Kumar of GSACS, at present there are two counsellors and 25 “peer educators”.

Kumar said National AIDS Control Organisation had assigned five other health centres to GSACS but the one at Aslali was the only one that was working in private–public partnership. The others are in Jamnagar, Kutch, Rajkot, Valsad and Surat, which have been functioning for the past 18 months with good response, Kumar said.

Meanwhile, AMC–run AIDS Control Society (AMACS) is in the process of starting the state‘s first mobile Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC), said its project director Dr Umesh Oza. He said the AMACS at present has 23 ICTCs in the city.

The mobile unit will be of great help in places like transport hubs where truckers need testing and counselling. "What is good about the mobile unit is that it gives test report within hours on the spot," he said.

Source:Indian Express
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