Unborn babies of HIV infected to be treated in Dharan soon

Himalayan News Service

Dharan, April 28:

BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS) in Dharan will start providing treatment services to the unborn babies of the HIV positive mothers to prevent them from contracting the disease in two weeks. Director of the institute Dr Prahlad Karki said, “This is the final date.” Spokesperson Dr Bal Krishna Karki said, “Most of the equipment and medicines have been brought and the service will begin as soon as few other necessary things arrive.” The government had announced that the service, first of its kind in the country, would be available at the BPKIHS on February 21. It is said that several technical difficulties had delayed the service. Karki said the government became keen to offer the service through BPKIHS after a news was published in The Himalayan Times and Annapurna Post dailies on March 29.

“We are glad to hear the news. It has given us a hope that many HIV-infected women will now be able to deliver healthy babies,” said Ganesh Rai, general secretary of the Dharan Positive, an organisation of the HIV infected people.

Though the government had announced that the BPKIHS would be the first hospital in the country to provide the service, Indra Rajya Laxmi Maternity hospital has already started treating the babies of the HIV infected mothers from February 27. Preparation is yet to be started at the Bheri Zonal Hospital in Nepalgunj, which was also chosen for the treatment of HIV infected babies. The programme is run under the National AIDS and STD Control Centre of the Home Ministry and is supported by Global Fund, World Health Organisation and UNICEF.