The Ayries Society clinic is situated around an old port town in the district of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu, in south-east India. Cuddalore, meaning “sea town” in Tamil, is well renowned for its impressive beaches and mangrove forest; yet, in recent times, industrial growth has tarnished this image with that of a polluted city, slowly taking its toll on the local community. TB and HIV/AIDS are two critical conditions suffered by the local population. In October 2011, the Times of India reported that one in four deaths among people with HIV/AIDS was due to TB.
One focus in Cuddalore is to provide nutritional and medical support for TB patients and their families who are physically unable to help. The Society has had notable success in treating hundreds of patients with TB, through a programme known as Directly Observed Short Course chemotherapy. The food services include adult nutrition programs and cooked meals and dates for children.
Another focus is the People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) program. It provides essential support to affected families. In order to receive antiretroviral treatment for HIV an individual must, after their initial treatment, be able to be released to the care of a trained guardian supported by Ayries. Under the PLHA nutrition programme, the Society provides food ingredients and advice to those beginning anti-retroviral treatment.
The partnership with Ayries Society was originally established with the UK Meal-a-Day Fund – we have been pleased to continue the working relationship since it was transferred to Asia-Pacific in 2007.