Launch of Red Ribbon Express’ third phase Thursday

January 11th, 2012 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 11 (IANS) The third phase of the Red Ribbon Express, a special train which travels across the country to spread awareness on HIV/AIDS, will be launched Thursday on the National Youth Day, officials said Wednesday.

Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad will launch the third phase of National AIDS Control Organization’s Red Ribbon Express.

The specially designed train will be flagged from Delhi and halt at 162 stations during its year-long journey across 23 states.

“It has three exhibition coaches with exhibits on HIV and AIDS while the fourth coach on the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) has exhibits on tuberculosis, malaria, reproductive and child health services, general health and hygiene,” said an official.

“There is one coach on counselling and another one for conducting training of local stakeholders such as members of Panchayati Raj institutions, self-help groups, health workers, youth organisations, teachers, police personnel…,” he added.

According to the health ministry, the on-board planned activities include interactive exhibition aimed at sensitisation and training on health, HIV and AIDS, counselling and testing facilities, general health check up and adolescent/youth friendly reproductive and sexual health information.

Further, Red Ribbon Buses, carrying a portable version of train exhibition, counselling and testing services and condom demonstration stalls, would also be launched.

The Red Ribbon Express was first launched on the World AIDS Day in 2007.

According to health ministry officials, the train has covered 152 stations and reached out to nearly eight million people. Some Rs.10 crore have so far been spent on the train.

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