Sankhuwasabha HIV-hit clamour for help

SANKHUWASABHA: People infected with HIV/AIDS in Sankhuwasabha say they have not got any assistance so far, despite their repeated visits to government offices, political parties and non-government organisations in the district.

The disease has been diagnosed among 65 persons in the district so far, according to District Health Office.

Rewat Bahadur Pokharel, who contracted the deadly disease three years ago, chairs National HIV/AIDS Federation, district chapter, and has been active in seeking aid for the infected, but to no avail.

“We applied to the District Development Committee seeking support, but did not get any,” he said.

They are thankful to the Unified CPN-Maoist, though. “The party helped organise two awareness programmes on HIV/AIDS,” Dharmaraj Regmi, district secretary of the Federation said.

“Other parties have neglected us,” Radhadevi Pokharel, vice-chairperson of the Federation in the district, said. “We don’t have money even to pay the office rent.”

The HIV-positive persons said they were forced to go as far as Dharan for medicines, spending at least Rs 3,000. “We have turned into beggars,” chairman Pokharel said.

Chief District Officer Tulsi Prasad Gautam, pledging help for the patients, said, “They not only need financial support but social support as well.” He said he would make efforts to garner support for the needy in the district.

“We were unable to help the patients due to lack of funds,” acting LDO Laxmi Prasad Niraula said, pledging to manage resources for their aid.