Help At Hand For HIV Child- Organizations From Manipur, Bengal, Andhra Offer Care

GUWAHATI, Dec. 23: Three organizations from Manipur, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, working in the field of HIV/AIDS, have come forward to take care of the four-year-old HIV-positive girl who was abandoned by her family members after her parents died of AIDS in Assam‘s Nalbari district.

Calcutta-based NGO, Organization For Friends, Energies and Resources, today contacted the Assam State AIDS Control Society, offering to take care of the child.

A similar offer was made by a care home registered with the Manipur State AIDS Control Society.

Hyderabad-based NGO Desire Society contacted The Telegraph today and expressed their desire to take care of the child.

Hem Chandra Barman, the joint director (care, support and treatment) of Assam State AIDS Control Society, said, ‘The two organizations contacted us, expressing their willingness to take care of the girl and provide all the facilities needed for her treatment and care. Both the organizations work for children with HIV/AIDS. We are discussing the offers and are likely to decide tomorrow.’

Neelima Atal Mohanty, an official of Desire Society, said in an email to this correspondent that their director had agreed to ‘provide care to the child’ at their centre, which already takes care of 50 children suffering from HIV/AIDS, and sought more information about her.

At present, doctors and members of several NGOs are taking care of the child who is lodged at the community care centre of Bharukha Public Welfare Trust, an NGO located in the city’s Beharbari area.

HIV-positive since birth, the girl lost her mother to AIDS in October. As her father had also died of the same virus two years ago, she had no one to look after her except her paternal aunts, who simply abandoned her.

The NGO later brought to the city and handed over to the Indian Network of Positive People (INP+) in Guwahati on December 11.

Barman said the child had been underweight at 8kg when she was brought to the Assam State AIDS Control Society but had gained a little since then.

‘Our doctors and medical staff are taking care of her and have conducted the necessary tests. Once she is fit for anti-retroviral treatment, we will proceed accordingly. We are thinking of sending her to the Manipur-based care centre, which is known to us and which is already taking care of 42 HIV-positive orphans. But we are yet to decide.’

Barman said the state health department would help to find a suitable home for the orphan and bear all expenses for her treatment and care.

*Reported by Sumir Karmakar.

(Courtesy: Telegraph India)

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