Bolangir: Even if Odisha Government claims to have up with several amenities for improvement of health care delivery system, free drugs still eludes HIV patients including children in Bolangir district.
It is now over two months that the Anti Retroviral Treatment (ART) centre at the district headquarters hospital (DHH) has no medicine stock for AIDS patients.
As per official records, Bolangir has been enlisted in Category-A for the life threatening disease with 901 males and 374 women tested HIV positive. Not only Bolangir, patients of five neigbouring districts depend on the ART centre here for treatment as well as drugs. However, due to such irregularities, the patients are forced to return without medicines.
It is also pertinent to mention that HIV affected children have also been deprived of the regular medication in the last two months. Since all the HIV-affected belong to poverty-stricken families, they are unable to travel outside the State for the 'essential' drugs and are now left on the mercy of the authorities at the centre.
A senior health official, Purnachandra Sahu said, "Two varieties of medicines meant for HIV-affected children are out of stock for the past few days."
When contacted, the CDMO Sugyanendra Mishra also admitted that the essential drugs were not in stock in the State.
"The drugs are not available in the entire State. Hence, we procure these medicines from other States which usually takes some time," said Mishra.
On the other hand, social activists allege that as the medicines are still unavailable with the district headquarters hospital, the State Government will be responsible if anything happens to the affected children.