Women Deprived of HIV Test Before Delivery

Published: 29th April 2016 06:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th April 2016 06:11 AM   |  A+A-

JAGATSINGHPUR: Despite numerous awareness programmes, AIDS is spreading its tentacles in the  district due to callousness and lack of information on the part of gynaecologists in rural healthcare centres.

Recently, a three-year-old boy of Naugaon was detected with HIV positive at the District Headquarters Hospital (DHH) while his mother and father were tested positive at Integrated Counselling and Testing Centre (ICTC), Cuttack on October 15, 2015. His mother alleged that she was denied ART (anti-retroviral treatment) and medical help during pregnancy. As a result, her child got infected with HIV positive. “It is the responsibility of the gynaecologist of DHH to convince a pregnant woman to undergo HIV and sputum tests free of cost at ICTC. But no such tests were conducted during my pregnancy at the hospital,” she said.

Sources said as per the policy of National Aids Control Society (NACO), each pregnant woman visiting any hospital must undergo HIV test and if she is found to be infected, the woman will have to be registered with  NACO for commencing ART to avoid HIV infection to the child. But due to lack of awareness among paramedical staff, the pregnant women have been deprived of treatment under the multi-medicine process.

This is not the only case in the district. Earlier, at least three similar cases were reported where pregnant women did not undergo HIV test before delivery.

Meanwhile, they have sought the intervention of Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC), Health Department and Collector over the matter.

Medical Officer of ICTC, DHH, Sudhakar Biswal expressed surprised over the doctor not conducting the mandatory tests for HIV detection before the delivery of the child. However, at least 16 HIV infected pregnant women who were administered Nevirapine have given birth to healthy babies in the hospital, he said.

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