A group of HIV positive persons living in Bauchi have pleaded for medical support.
The group under the aegis of the Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Bauchi State Chapter made this plea.
The group called on the Bauchi State Government to help members in critical conditions.
The coordinator of the network, Abdullahi Ibrahim said that they do not attend clinics due to a lack of funds.
In a chat with NAN on Tuesday, Ibrahim said they do not attend their biannual haematology. He lamented that many of them are terrified because of the N3000 bill.
He also mentioned that they no longer had access to free supplements and antimalaria drugs. These drugs were dedicated to them and they have been hindered from it since 2014.
His words: “The cost of treatment is a burden to our members as only the antiretroviral drugs and sometimes Septrin, an antimalarial, are provided to patients free by development partners.
“Our members visit primary healthcare centres for drugs only since the haematology screening is conducted only at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital.
“The idea is that, if a house head has dependants that are all positive for the virus, he cannot afford to pay the bills.
“This will make the family members’ health deteriorate.
“People with HIV are to go through haematology screening after every six months and the charge at ATBUTH is N3,000.
“We are grateful to the present Chief Medical Director at ATBUTH who slashed the amount by 50 per cent to support us.
“If a client does not take the test, he or she will not know his or her condition.”
He lauded the effort the state government was putting to control the spread of the disease. He, however, lamented the dearth of sensitization in local communities.
Ibrahim noted that visual indicators were no longer available. He, therefore, urged health workers to intensify their efforts to educate people. The coordinator specifically said education about mother-to-child transmission should be taught.
He said that health workers should be abreast with current information to ensure that babies were born free of the virus.
“Childbirth is another channel for transmitting the virus, the information is there in the dedicated facilities.
“We expect that quality and genuine information should come from health workers to stem new infections,’’ he said.
Source: PUNCH HealthWise.