Govt should give pension to HIV patient; USACS

DAINIK NATION BUREAU

To fight with deadly disease HIV State government should give pension to the HIV infected people otherwise they would not survive long. As most of the patients belong to poor background so they have to borrow money to reach ART centre. These views were expressed by HIV patient on the occasion of world Aids Day here in Dehradun. Even Uttarakhand State Aids Control Society (USACS) had sent a proposal for Travelling allowance (TA) for HIV patient in the year 2014-15 but nothing happened on it.

Although his Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) expense being borne by the government, his expenses have mounted due to frequent travelling to hospital in Dehradun. To top it, he has to ensure his diet is adequate to fight the virus, which again is out of his reach. The state government offers no help for HIV patients whose weakening condition has already pushed him out of work. There are around 3,368 patients undergoing ART treatment at the three ART centres in Uttarakhand.

As we know that three ART centres are functional in Dehradun, Haldwani and Pithoragarh. Talking to media Additional Project Director USACS VS Tolia says we raise the demand every year.

Significantly, while the state government disburse more than 10 kinds of pensions to persons falling under various categories, the proposal to provide pension to HIV patients hailing from economically weaker section put up by USACS did not receive a favourable response from the Department of Social Welfare.

A proposal for providing pension to HIV patients hailing from economically weaker section was put up in 2015 by his predecessor, but it did not receive any response, Tolia added.

There is a general attitude of indifference towards the HIV patients. “We cannot assume that our responsibility ends with providing free ART treatment at government centres. The burden of the financial disease is far too much. Usually patients skip medicines, because they are unable to foot their travel expenses. This worsens the disease,” he added.

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