the HELP Fund has been a small supporter of the Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre at the District Hospital for the past 5 years. We try to help pregnant women and their families who test positive for HIV or hep B.
It can be depressing work. Both illnesses are such silent voyagers. There is little knowledge of them here and it remains taboo to talk about STIs.
The ITCT Centre got doubly lucky this year, though. First, CanAssist in New Delhi is funding support for positive women and kids - everything from subsidies for those who can't afford the expensive, often life-long meds - to making sure they can get to the state centre in Srinagar for testing. They're also helping the Centre's Manager get quality training on chronic care management.
We have a volunteer here working with Stanzin to find out where the hep B is, what might be the most common means of transmission, and what people know and how they know it on hep B. It might help us end ineffective education campaigns and invest in Ladakh's future.
Thanks Lindsey and thanks CanAssist!
Cynthia will be blogging as she works with our Himalayan projects this year.