Dr KK Aggarwal, Editor in Chief eMedinewS and IMA News in conversation with Dr Glory Alexander, Director ASHA Foundation, Bangalore.
Dr Glory Alexander has been honored with Dr BC Roy National Award for the year 2010 under the category of ‘Outstanding services in the field of Socio-Medical Relief’.
Dr KK: Tell us about your journey so far.
I completed my graduate (MBBS) and post graduate training in Internal Medicine from Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore in 1986. Then I worked in the Bangalore Baptist Mission Hospital till 1998. During the 90s, there was much concern in India about HIV/AIDS. There was huge stigma and discrimination towards this disease. At this time, I moved full time into working in the field of HIV/AIDS and founded the ASHA Foundation in 1998.
The ASHA Foundation provides a range of services in the field of HIV/AIDS.
Counseling and testing services: We started the first private automated AIDS Helpline in the Country which received almost 400,00 calls; more than 20,000 manual telephone calls; 8000 counselling sessions. In addition there are email queries and awareness programs among vulnerable communities conducted under this component.
Adolescent health education: A Teachers’ manual was developed in-house and taught to students by trained teachers. So far more than 2500 teachers have been trained all over the country. About one lakh students have used the curriculum in the past and currently more than 300 schools, colleges and other institutions are participating in the program. About 40,000 students in Pune, Mumbai, Nagpur, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Kolar, Hunsur, HB Kote, Koppal, Shimoga, Dakshin Kannada and Hubli are doing the program. The students have student workbooks and a parents manual have also been developed.