National AIDS Control Organisation(NACO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare signed the first MoU with the Ministry of Shipping on 14 February 2013 as a part of its efforts to highlight issues relating to HIV/AIDS.
According to the MoU, NACO will provide HIV/AIDS/STI preventive, care support and treatment services to port workers as well as community around major ports including fishermen, seafarers, truckers, single male migrants and other vulnerable population etc. It also aims to provide stigma free environment and promote greater involvement of people living with HIV in all major port areas.
Under the MoU, Ministry of Shipping commits itself to the following points:-
• Make available health infrastructure and human resources for prevention and management of HIV/AIDS/STI.
• Designate responsibility to personnel at suitable level to plan, implement and monitor HIV/AIDS/STI services.
• Ensure identified health personnel from the facilities are provided capacity building by State AIDS Control Societies.
• Promote safe sexual practices among vulnerable population in port setting with necessary support from State AIDS Control Societies.
• Ensure dissemination/display of IEC material pertaining to HIV/AIDS/STI at ports/health facilities and outreach activities.
• Ensure ICTC/PPTCT/ and STI services and ensure availability of rapid HIV diagnostic kits (3 different antigens/principles) as per NACO guidelines and specifications.
• Set up designated STI/ICTC Clinics at major ports for vulnerable population including truckers and transport workers and ensure availability of STI drug kits as per NACO guidelines and specifications.
• Coordinate and strengthen referral linkages with State AIDS Control societies and implementing partners like targeted interventions TI NGOs/drop in centre/community care centres and network of HIV Positive persons.
• Ensure record keeping and reporting to SACS as per prescribed format.
• Commit resource (Manpower, material and money) for HIV/AIDS/STI in budgets/or CSR component for sustainability to his endeavor.
The NACO commits itself to the following points
• Share Nationally approved treatment protocols, guidelines and standards pertaining to STI/HIV/AIDS.
• Providing technical support and build capacity of ports health personnel to facilitate integration of HIVIAIDS in the Health Services.
• Providing training to major port health personnel (Doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians on syndromic case management of ST1, which could be direct training or training of trainers as per the number of personnel.
• Providing training to major port health personnel (Doctors, nurses, laboratory technicians) on integrated counseling and testing services for HIV, which could be direct training or training of trainers as per the number of personnel. Provide technical support for implementation of IEC and awareness activities around major ports with support of ports authorities.
• Sharing reporting formats and monitoring mechanisms.
• NACO/SACS will coordinate and provide necessary technical support to Ministry of Shipping /major ports to integrate STI/HIV/AIDS services.