Carla Bruni to visit Safdarjung Hospital to see anti-natal, HIV care procedure

New Delhi, Dec.6 (ANI): France's First Lady Carla Bruni will visit the Safdarjung Hospital and the New Delhi-based Naz Foundation Trust, an NGO working on HIV/AIDS and sexual health on Monday.

Most people around the world know Bruni as an Italian-born French songwriter, singer and former model, but few know that she is also the brand ambassador for the Global Fund, an international financing institution that invests the world's money to save lives, especially victims afflicted with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

To date, the Global Fund has committed 19.3 billion dollars in 144 countries to support large-scale prevention, treatment and care programs against these three diseases.

Sources close to the French delegation accompanying Bruni said that the French First Lady would be going to Safdarjung Hospital to watch how its pediatric and maternity wings deal with antenatal care (the systemic medical supervision of women during pregnancy and HIV/AIDS care.

Bruni may be widely known as a fashionista, but that is not what she is all about. As brand ambassador for the Global Fund, she has been actively involved in promoting campaigns for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Having lost her brother to AIDS, Bruni has been making sincere efforts to pursue these preventive campaigns in a low-key manner, and does not flaunt this aspect of her life. She also actively involved with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

New Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital has the largest number of child deliveries. In 2009, the hospital delivered 20397 newborns, and till October of this year, the figure was 17833.

Antenatal care begins with 'history-taking' and is followed by a complete examination of the patient. Thereafter, the mother-to-be receives advice and instructions about her mode of life, diet and regular antenatal check-ups till labour sets in.

The obstetric history begins with the age of the mother and includes information about the number of years since marriage, number of pregnancies, previous deliveries, abortions, pre-term labour, complications during previous pregnancies or labour, etc. Difficulties in previous deliveries, application of forceps, caesarean births and the birth weight of former children are also important.

Its aim is to preserve the physiological aspect of pregnancy and labour and to prevent or detect, as early as possible, all that is pathological.

Medical staff at Safdarjung Hospital will also brief Bruni about how they determine the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge of pregnant women. The HIV test is mandatory for pregnant women in India as passing the AIDS virus from mother to child is a human rights violation.

From Safdarjung Hospital, the French First Lady will head to the Naz Foundation, which is managed by Anjali Gopalan, who is its Founder and Executive Director to see how it functions on issues of prevention of HIV/AIDS and protection of sexual health .

The foundation has been involved in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and protection of sexual health since 1994.

Through the years, the Naz Foundation has evolved and implemented a holistic approach to combat HIV, focusing on prevention as well as treatment.

Its focus has been on reaching out to the marginalised populations infected and affected by HIV and sensitize the community to the prevalence of HIV, besides highlighting issues related to sexuality and sexual health.

It provides quality care and support to people living with HIV, besides unbiased factual information on sexual health and HIV to the public

Anjali Gopalan began working on issues related to HIV/AIDS and marginalized communities in the United States. On returning to India in the early 90's she was frustrated at the lack of government response, and even civil society response, to the burgeoning HIV epidemic.

Her response was to begin Naz India and to focus on communities stigmatized by society. (ANI)

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