HIV-infected children in Baitadi deprived of education, health care

Baitadi, December 15

HIV-positive children in Baitadi have been deprived of basic needs like education, health facilities and nutrition.

The district has the official record of 18 children living with HIV, most of whom have already lost their parents, who were also HIV positive, said Lokendra Panta, programme coordinator at Multipurpose Development Society, Dadeldhura, an NGO working in the HIV/AID field.

Some of the HIV-infected children are suffering from malnutrition for want of balanced diet.

Panta said the government had failed to bring sufficient programmes to support the children. The organisation provides Rs 1,000 monthly to each of the HIV-positive patients below the age of 18 to support for their medication and education. However, the effort is not enough.

Social stigma and prejudices against HIV-positive people have forced the victims to live hiding their identities.

A total of 209 HIV-infected people have so far revealed their identities in the district, according to District Public Health Office, Baitadi.

Of them, 106 victims are male and 103, female. Out of them, 104 are on regular medication.