The New Light Clinic located deep within sex worker district, offers solution to the many the challenges faced by the group. It offers them services at their doorstep which they can access at their convenience. Their human rights and dignity is respected and they receive professional care and services delivered with compassion. They identify with the clinic and the services offered because it is within their community, in
an environment which they are familiar and comfortable with. They recognize most of the caregivers, they know that the caregivers are familiar with the area and the commercial sex work profession and hence will not ask them probing unpleasant questions or pass value judgments.. Many of the workers of New Light are from within the community, one way or other connected with the commercial sex worker profession. This increases their comfort level. More importantly, the outreach workers are members of the community with whom they can communicate with ease and comfort.
Improve the quality of healthcare available to female sex workers, their partners and children to manage common ailments and prevent, control and manage sexually transmitted infections, HIV and AIDS and thereby enhance the quality of their life.
- Provide high quality professional medical care and support services delivered with compassion to those at risk of being infected with STD, HIV and those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.
- Strengthen networking and collaboration with community based organizations of positive people, other NGOs and agencies of the state engaged in prevention, control and management of STD, HIV and AIDS to improve the quality of care.
- More persons at risk of STI proactively seek counselling and support for prevention
- More persons with STI seek timely professional medical care
- PLWHA in the operational community and adjoin areas have better quality of life and improved access to professional care and support
- Fewer numbers of children of commercial sex workers are exposed to HIV infection
Services provided, activities carried out
- Identification of cases - since the primary clientele group is from the sex worker community, doctors remain particularly alert to signs and symptoms of STD, HIV and AIDS and opportunistic infections even when patients report to the clinic for common ailments. Any suspected cases identified on gynecology clinics days are immediately referred to the in-house STD specialist for further clinical examination and confirmation of symptoms. Community outreach workers follow up with family visits etc to motivate the individuals to report to the clinic on designated days. If clinical examination suggests STD or other infections, action is taken to confirm the diagnosis through pathological investigations.
- Diagnosis - suspected cases of STD, HIV/AIDS and opportunistic infections are referred to the nearest government healthcare facility for pathological investigations and confirmation of diagnosis. Government facilities are the first choice as the services are free or are available for
nominal fee and therefore help to economize and save operational costs. However, there are inherent limitations with the state provided facilities. When New Light apprehends that these factors can delay and deny prompt follow up and care, the cases are referred to the best available and certified facilities in the private sector. While healthcare services in the private sector are expensive, services are prompt and of high quality, preventing delay and denial of appropriate medical care. New Light personnel always accompany the patient to government healthcare facilities to help them deal with the bureaucracy.
- Treatment - New Light makes every effort to raise resources to maintain adequate supplies of medicines to treat the cases which report to the clinic. With generous donor support, New Light has been largely successful in maintaining adequate stocks of medicines to treat STIs. When medicines are in short supply due to lack of donor support or for logistical reasons, the STI cases are referred to government hospitals. HIV positive cases requiring ART are always referred to government centers. New Light personnel accompany the patients to the healthcare facilities and maintain case files and distributions records to track the use of the drugs.
- Care and counselling - Doctors and the paramedic counsel the patients on various aspects when they visit the clinics. Community outreach workers undertake home visits to monitor the use of medicines, dietary habits and risk behaviour. Home visits and counselling further enhances the effectiveness of the clinical intervention.
- Nutrition - Apart from counselling on dietary habits and the need for intake of wholesome balanced diet, New Light supplies food rations free of cost to the positive persons on ART who cannot afford to buy and consume nutritious food. Priority is given to families where the primary bread winner is on ART Baby food is supplied to infants of positive mothers who are unable to nurse the infants on health grounds.
- Neonatal care, prevention of parent to child transmission - Positive women who are pregnant are carefully monitored, counseled and supported to seek timely medical care to prevent transmission of infection to the newborn baby. New Light works with the local networks of positive people to ensure that the women and the newborn receive appropriate and timely medical care to reduce/ prevent the risk of transmission from mother to child.
- Condom distribution - New Light always stocks adequate supplies of condoms and maintains an open door policy; sex workers can walk in any time and walk out with the number of condoms they require. Other NGOs have scheduled dates for distribution of condoms or promotes social marketing of condoms. While the approach may have its advantages, it has disadvantages too. Impoverished and older sex workers are not likely to buy condoms and might engage in unsafe and unprotected sex.
- Outreach Program - Peer educators and health workers will visit homes, monitor the use of medications and counsel the women, HIV+ persons and their family members. Outreach program will also include health education, behavioral change communication, building social awareness, provision of micro-credit, legal aid and other assistance of beneficial relevance. Collaboration and networking- New Light will collaborate and network with local NGOs, positive networks and government agencies engaged in HIV/AIDS prevention intervention activities. This will help New Light to reach out to more affected and at risk people, secure technical and material resources for enhancing the reach and quality of program intervention.