Mumbai introduces biometric attendance system for HIV patients
The Mumbai District State Aids Control Society (MDACS) is using biometric fingerprint identification to register and keep track of the number of HIV patients in the city, after a number of people refused to link their medical information with Aadhaar cards, fearing their identity and illness would be made public, The Free Press Journal reports.
The biometric attendance system will first be introduced at three antiretroviral centers in Mumbai to make sure patients stick to their treatment plans.
“The patients feared that the compulsory submission of Aadhaar card to get free medicines and medical check-ups under a government’s AIDS control scheme could lead to disclosure of their identity, inviting social stigma,” said a senior health official.
Dr Padmaja Keskar, executive health official with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) assures patients their identity will not be revealed.
“The patients can change their name when they will give undergo biometric procedures. But they have to give register their original address so that it will become easier for us to track them if they leave their treatment in middle,” she said.
Health activists in the region agree with the initiative, saying biometric registration will encourage people to keep up with treatment and therapy.