Payal Gwalani, TNN Aug 4, 2012, 01.07AM IST
NAGPUR:Though the government has floated several welfare schemes and facilities forthe benefit of the people suffering from AIDS, most of these facilities do notseep through to the grassroots. Many times, the government representatives themselves are either unaware or not sensitive enough to work for the People Living with HIV (PLHIV). The condition of children living with HIV (CLHIV) is still worse with not many paediatricians versed with care required for these children.
These were amongst the few grievances expressed by HIV positive people during the three-day grassroots level advocacy workshop organized by NGO World Vision India. Forty PLHIVs and many other NGOs participated. NGOs working in the fieldof HIV/AIDS like Sanjeevan, District Level PLHA Network, Eficor, Saathii,CRTDP, IID, Women Resource Center, Sharansthan, National Council of Churches inIndia also participated.
"The workshop aimed to strengthen the advocacy capacity of communities to address the issues faced by women and children living with HIV in different areas of the district. We wanted the PLHIVs to get the attention they deserve from the policy makers, the media, and society," said Joe George, programme officer of World Vision Nagpur.
The participants discussed several practical difficulties faced by them every day."There are no facilities for AIDS patients at village level. With the government deciding to link us with the NRHM workers, this may change. For children suffering from the disease, it would make a huge difference if government provided them nutrition," said Anil Dalve, president of Network for PLHIV in Maharashtra.
"The number of ART centres in the state is insufficient if we consider the fact that Maharashtra has 14% of the Indians with the disease. All these people will soon require second line treatment too. I hope the government plans to open more entres," said Dalve.
Daisy David, a PLHIV who now works as an advocacy associate, believes the government has good structure but what they lack is implementation and monitoring."When the district programme officers for AIDS speak to the NGOs workingat the grassroots, they discuss projects and funds but rarely issues. They can't travel to all the villages under their jurisdiction and are unaware of the shortcomings in medical services in many of them," she said. If these authorities could guide and help the PLHIVs, things could improve a lot, she said.
COMMON STIGMAS IN HOSPITALS
NEEDS OF THE POSITIVE PEOPLE