No care at Care Centres, lament HIV+ members
No care at Care Centres, lament HIV+ members
Favour running care centre themselves
Source: Herald-Goa. Thursday, October, 29 2009,
PANJIM: “We can take care of our people better because we understand their problems better.”
This was a refrain shared by a delegation of HIV-positive members of Positive Lives Foundation, who have complained about inhuman treatment meted out to them at the two community care centers in the State.
A delegation of positive people led by its president Jaffer Inamdar on Thursday met Project Director Dr Pradeep Padwal and poured forth their grievances before him.
Inamdar made an appeal before the Dr Padwal to allow HIV-positive people to run an upcoming community care centre because the two existing centres were not imparting quality care. “Our proposal has been rejected, but we can tell you we have educated and competent people to run the centre,” he asserted.
“If we are allowed to run centres many of our members who are well qualified will get employment,” he added.
He said the two care centres – Freedom Foundation and Asro – were getting Rs 18 lakh each annual grants but there was no quality care provided. “We are not against the organisations but the services provided by it.”
The more than dozen members who were present said even though there was a provision of Rs 60 per day to provide nutritional food the same was not made available.
They complained that once the condition of a positive patient gets bad, he or she was dumped at the Goa Medical College and Hospital to die. “Where is the care and support from these centres?” they questioned.
Inamdar said the community care centers were functioning like government hospitals when they were supposed to have a very different atmosphere. When we go there the staff tells us not to do this and that, don’t sit here
He complained that medicines for opportunistic infections was another area where HIV positive people faced hardships. “National Aids Control Organisation allocates a budget for these then why are we deprived of the same in Goa ?” he questioned.
Members present complained they were not able to bear the cost of the medicines with their meager income. “It is important we get reimbursed or else our sustenance is in danger,” they mentioned.
Inamdar said they demanded that the quality of services at the existing care centers and the State Government should come up with a strategy to address the problem of orphaned children and widows by working out a rehabilitation plan, he mentioned.
He said they would now make representations to the Governor, Health Minister, and Health Secretary putting forth their demands by giving a time frame to meet these.
“If these demands are not met we will be forced to come on to the streets in support of our grievances which will be very embarrassing for the State,” he asserted.
Dr Padwal, who gave a patient hearing to the delegation, promised he would make due representations to address the problems at both Government and NACO levels.
Other News Paper of Goa .
`Discrimination at AIDS care centres'
Source: Times of India , Goa . Thursday, October, 29 2009,
PANJIM: Thursday and complained that there is stigmatization and lack of proper facilities, including food and medicines, at the two community care centres set up to look after patients with AIDS. The centres are run by NGOs and funded by GSACS.
Alleging that HIV positive patients are "stigmatized and treated like dirt", a 24-year-old who has been living with AIDS since a year and has been admitted to the centres "at least 10 times" as her CD4 count was less than 50, said, "This (treatment) hurts us immensely".
Another pointed to "hardly any HIV positive persons working at these centres", and alleged, "They fail to understand the pain and needs of HIV positive persons. Even the food served to us is not proper." Claiming that patients are given only rice and dal for lunch and dinner, she further alleged, "Rarely do we get fish or chicken. We get neither milk, banana nor eggs that are essential parts of the diet for HIV positive persons."
Those in-charge of the centres refuted the charges. "With Rs 60 a day we are expected to provide five meals to the patients. So often we go beyond the allotted budget and provide the best food. We give them milk, fish or chicken for lunch. But now, with the price rise, it is difficult for us to give them fruits everyday," said Sister Vinita Joseph, in-charge of Asro, the South Goa-based centre run by Caritas, Goa . She added, "We have also never looked down upon or discriminated an HIV positive person. We have treated each and every person with dignity."
Zinya D'Souza, project coordinator of the North Goa-based Freedom Foundation centre added, "We are shocked that such allegations have been made. We give the best possible food and everybody is treated with respect and dignity at the centre."
Jaffar Inamdar of Positive Lives Foundation, who lead the delegation, said these issues were brought before the director as GSACS is planning to start another such centre and they want to ensure that this is run by an HIV positive group. "A community care centre is a free short stay home, but there is no community care at these centres and they have become like hospitals," said Inamdar.
GSACS director, Dr Pradeep Padwal told TOI, "A delegation did meet me with their demands and we are examining the same. We will comply with whatever decision our higher authorities take."
With best regards
Advocacy Officer of Positive Lives India (PLI+)
Positive Lives India (PLI+)
Flat No: G-4, Ground Floor, Victor Apartments,Â
Behind Senior Translines, Vasco-Margao NH-17,
Cuzira, St. Cruz, Ilhas, Tiswadi, Panaji,
Goa - 403005, India
Off. Tel: +91 - 832 - 2446103
Email: plf@... / plfgoa@...