Saksham, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Saksham Completes a Decade!

In: News

Saksham was launched on September 1, 2008 and in its first phase of implementation (2008 – 2013), Saksham aimed to strengthen the human and institutional capacities of the national health system in the field of HIV counselling to achieve and better meet the long term goals of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) for HIV prevention, care and treatment.

Saksham in partnership with 38 state/central government institutions of higher learning created a pool of 406 Master Trainers and trained 23,702 ICTC, STI and ART counsellors. Saksham also developed a cadre of 1297 Supportive Supervisors who have provided on site hand holding and mentoring to 7357 counsellors.

Saksham produced 20 resource materials in the form of training manuals, handbooks, pamphlets, posters, self-study material, audio visual material, case studies reference bank. Saksham developed the 7 days Integrated Induction Training Manual for HIV Counsellors developed by Saksham in collaboration with the NACP, is available on the NACP website for wider circulation.  

In the last phase of implementation (2013-2015), along with the HIV intervention and taking the lesson learned from the HIV epidemic, Saksham demonstrated the need for moving beyond a bio-medical approach as far as Tuberculosis (TB) treatment is concerned and introduced psycho-social counselling services for Drug Resistant TB patients and linkages to social protection. Saksham placed 27 counsellors in Mumbai in November 2014.

The Saksham HIV intervention culminated in March 2015 and based on the experience of DR TB Counselling in Mumbai, Saksham in partnership with the Central TB Division (CTD), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare scaled up the counselling intervention for DR TB patients in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Karnataka.  The project was named Saksham Pravaah

Saksham Pravaah will continue until March 2021 and from 27 Counsellors in Mumbai, Saksham Pravaah, has now grown to 214 counsellors who have reached out to 21,000 DR TB patients, their caregivers and linked more than 2900 patients to a range of Government and Non-Government Social Protection Schemes to support treatment adherence.  

Apart from providing counselling services for DR TB patients, Saksham with financial support from Tata Power Community Development Trust has also initiated a community based programme in April 2016 with Community Engagement and Psycho Social Support as the core strategy to increase awareness among the community by engaging Community stakeholders in the M ward, Mumbai which has a high burden of TB.  The intervention will continue until February 2019 and has reached out to more than one lakh community members for TB awareness and sensitization.

Today, after completing a decade of intervention, Saksham will once again partner with the National AIDS Control Programme and will undertake Capacity Building for HIV Counsellors and Auxiliary Nurse and Midwives (ANM) across India. This project is also funded by the Global Fund for ADS TB and Malaria and is called “Saksham Prerak”. The project will continue until March 2020.