Country of Operation
- Family Health InternationalNot-for-profit
SummaryThe Balasahyoga program represents the first comprehensive effort to help families affected by HIV/AIDS in India.
The program gives holistic support to these families by linking them to clinical care services, nutritional and educational support, social welfare services and income-generating activities. The program's primary goals are to improve the quality of life of children and adults infected or affected by HIV, reduce HIV infection in children, lower the number of child deaths due to AIDS and decrease the number of children orphaned by AIDS.
Key program components
Balasahyoga’s family-focused approach to caring for children affected by HIV is holistic, comprehensive and multisectoral. Moreover, it addresses the epidemic's impact on a massive scale, with plans to support 40,000 HIV-affected households throughout the state over five years. Interventions take into account several aspects of a child’s well-being, for example, linking a child to clinical care, including antiretroviral therapy (ART), and nutritional and educational support. The program also arranges income-generating activities and ART for a child’s parents and ensures that the family has a safe place to live. The goal is to help children by empowering their families to care for themselves. The program treats each family as special and assigns each a family case manager who ensures that their specific needs are addressed comprehensively. In addition to offering an innovative, multifaceted approach to addressing HIV/AIDS underpinned by existing government services, the Balasahyoga program is carefully managed. The uniqueness and strength of this program lies in its diversity, scale, community ownership and range of partnerships. Local people participate in the planning process, which helps ensure programming that is both relevant and sustainable. Community advisory boards have been established at the district level, comprised of religious leaders, members of local governing bodies, people living with HIV/AIDS, and older children. The advisory boards meet quarterly to identify and prioritize needs.