The Sundarbans, a unique biosphere reserve of mangrove forests and one of the global heritage sites, are located in the extreme south of West Bengal (an eastern Indian state) and Bangladesh, the neighboring country. The entire area is intersected by tidal rivers or estuaries from north and south and by innumerable narrow tidal creeks from east to west painting an assortment of beautiful but largely formidable and inhospitable terrains. In respect of basic health status General morbidity rate is higher than the state average: Children are three times more vulnerable to respiratory ailments. In general, almost all types of communicable diseases are highly prevalent. Environmental problems, such as skin related ailments are also very common. The impact of arsenic poisoning was quite visible in the blocks where groundwater is heavily contaminated with arsenic. People, who collect forest and river products, are under constant threat of animal attacks. The incidences of snake bites recorded in the local hospitals were high. It is also seen that about half of the children (below 5 years) are chronically malnourished leading to their vulnerability to respiratory and gastro-intestinal ailments. One in three children in the Sundarbans were found to have suffered at least one episode of cough with difficulty in breathing .It is also seen that in Sunmdarban Women share disproportionately higher burden of ailments than men do especially in the 15-59 age group.
Angikar’s Health Intervention:
- Sexual Health Intervention with FSWs: Since 2010 in partnership with WBSAP&CS and NACO, Digambarpur Angikar is implementing Targeted Intervention Project for 400 FSWs at Canning, Ghutiary Sharif and Baruipur, South 24 Parganas. Early identification and full treatment of STIs, Blood testing to know HIV status, correct and consistent condom use, Pre –Post-test counseling and behaviour change towards safer sexual practice are the basic components. In this year diagnosis and treatment of 1216 no STI cases and tested 874 HIV testing among these target populations. A number of total 51920 pcs condoms has been distribute free followed by 213963 pcs sold through social marketing.
- Sexual Health Intervention with Transgender Community: In partnership with WBSAP&CS and NACO, Angikar has started another Targeted Intervention Project with 300 Transgender communities at North 24 Prganas District. Social mapping, early identification and full treatment of STIs, Blood testing to know own HIV status, correct and consistent lubricant use, Pre –Post-test counseling and behaviour change towards safer sexual practice are the basic component of the project. In this reporting year we have mapping of 300 TG communities and regularly touch with them towards safer sexual practice and sustainable behaviour change to maintain health life. During this reporting period, our team has achieved to diagnosis and treatment of 78 no STI cases and tested 281 HIV testing followed by pre & post counseling session among 281 no TG community.
- SAG-KP Programme: Angikar is involved with this Govt of West Bengal initiated flagship project: SAG-KP at Hasnabadand Barasat I block in North 24 Parganas district and Kakdwip, Sagar and Magrahat II blocks in south 24 Parganas and closely working with local ICDS on material, child and adolescent health, nutrition, education and a social development issues.
- RNTCP Project: Since last couple of years, Angikar is involved in TB control programme under the RNTCP Project at Gosaba, Basanti, Canning I & II blocks under South 24 Parganas District. As a part of a programme our team is involved sputum collection, transportation and contact tracing. We are also appointed laboratory Technician at Patharpratima DMC in partnership with District Health & Family Welfare Samity, Govt of West Bengal. In this financial year a number to total number samples were tested and 1884 of them identified with TB germ. Total 4 patients are under treatment by local Health centre; our teams are constant touch with them for regular follow up services of 23 patients.