The government of the southern Indian state of Tamilnadu has launched a free nutritional supplement programme for HIV patients.
The World Food Programme of the United Nations (UNWFP) would be collaborating with the state government in running this scheme called Nutriplus.
Gian Pietro Bordignon, Country Director for UNWFP and V.K.Subburaj, Health Secretary to the government of Tamilnadu signed on Friday a memorandum of understanding over the project, estimated to cost around Rs.45 lakhs.
Inaugurating the programme in Chennai, State minister for Health K.K.S.S.R.Ramachandran noted it was the first of its kind in the entire country.
Patients registered with all the 15 Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) in Tamilnadu would be covered by the programme.
Overall 13,000 persons living HIV/AIDS are expected to benefit as a result of the programme.
The minister hoped that the nutritional support to be extended to them would improve their life-expectancy and also improve the quality of their life.
UNWFP official Bordignon said the programme would help enhance the skills of counselors and nutritionists. Especially they would be able to offer case specific advice to such segments like pregnant women.