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Hostel for orphaned HIV plus children in Koraput

Koraput: To provide shelter and medical attention to orphaned HIV positive children, the administration is ready to set up a 50-bed hostel at Koraput district headquarters hospital here. After the death of the HIV positive parents it becomes very difficult for a child affected by the virus to survive, a senior official said. "In such cases the HIV positive child needs extra care and proper medical attention which will be provided at the hostel, chief district medical officer, Koraput, Nisikant Kar said.

He said the life span of a HIV affected child is between 10 and 15 years and if proper medical attention and diet is provided then there is every possibility of prolonging the life span of such children. Apart from treatment, the children will be provided free food, clothes and education at the hostel, he said.

Officials said a budget of over Rs 50 lakh has been estimated for the project and preliminary work has already begun. The hostel will be operational in the next few months, they said. According to sources, there are around 1,300 HIV affected persons in the district and the number of children affected by the virus is around 100.

Praising the administration`s effort to take care of the HIV affected children, social activists said, "The decision to set up a hostel for the HIV affected children is a welcome move as presently there is no scheme to rehabilitate an orphaned HIV affected child in the district".

"However, the children when kept in the hostel may feel isolated and discriminated from society. So efforts must be done to ensure that while living in the hostel the childrens` connectivity with their respective communities remains intact, Koraput-based social activist Sanjit Patnaik said.

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