HIV/AIDS awareness campaign for Chennai Metro migrant labourers

Select group of metro rail workers to train colleagues at camp sites on weekends

2747210394_6da1cc9d52For several months, hundreds of workers have been toiling night and day, both underground and above, laying the foundations of a metro rail network that will revolutionise the city’s transportation scene. In a bid to reach out to them and promote general health and hygiene, migrant workers will soon get lessons on prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI).  Red-Ribbon-ExpressFrom Friday, Chennai Corporation AIDS Control and Prevention Society (CAPACS) will provide information to identified master trainers or peer labourers on STI, HIV/AIDS, general health, hygiene, use of condoms, myths and misconceptions. Information on services and facilities available in the city for HIV intervention such as the Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC) will be imparted. Migrant workers, most of whom are from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha, will be motivated to lead a healthy life in their new home.

There are two modes in the programme – training of master trainers and campaigns. “We have selected nearly 850 master trainers from among the workers. We will train them first and they, in turn, will disseminate the information to their peers through campaigns at the 10 camp sites. This is as per Chennai Metro Rail Limited’s policy to sensitise migrant workers on HIV/AIDS,” an official said.

A total of 18 master trainer programmes have been planned. At the end of each training programme, the workers will receive an outreach kit consisting of IEC materials such as flip charts, handbills and sample condoms for demonstration during the group interactions.

These interactions will be part of the campaigns that will be mostly held on Sundays. The campaigns will cover batches of 100 workers at the camp sites such as Thiruverkadu, Trisulam, Royapuram, Manapakkam and Kancheepuram.

CAPACS is planning to put up an exhibition stall displaying IEC materials on HIV and intervention services available in the city. Medical check-ups including for treatment of those suffering from skin diseases have been planned for labourers who volunteer, official sources said.