In an attempt to spread awareness about AIDS/HIV, the Rotarians of Malda and the district health officials of the State organized a health awareness program ('One step for awareness about HIV-AIDS') in the English Bazaar town, targeted specifically at barbers.
The local barbers, under the guidance of the organizing committee, organized a rally. A special AIDS/HIV awareness session was conducted at Rotary Bhawan. The heath officials projected that the barbers had an important role in projecting the seriousness of the AIDS pandemic amongst their customers. AIDS/HIV prevention strategies can be effectively communicated.
The barbers were urged to use a new blade for every shave and requested them to encourage the customers to bring a new blade, when they visit the shop. Dr S Banerjee, deputy CMOH I, urged the barbers to additionally charge the customers an extra rupee for the new blade.
Dr Gopal Sarkar, CMOH, stressed the importance of maintaining personal hygiene and a clean atmosphere at the stall. They were requested to clean all the equipments in the stall and use disinfectants, at least everyday. It has also been decided to supply special uniforms and kit for each worker. This was announced by Dr B B Sen, the Rotary President.
An interactive session was conducted between the barbers and health officials that cleared their doubts regarding the spread and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Barbers who run their business on pavements would also participate in the awareness program and temporary arrangements would be made to improve their situation. Additionally, the organizing committee members would visit the ladies beauty parlor to spread knowledge about prevention and transmission of HIV.
With such innovative measures to spread awareness, the incidence of HIV is likely to come down in the forth-coming years, atleast in Malda.