Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What are the AIDS Activists doing?

Few days back there was a news on all the news channels. A pregnant AIDS patient checked in the Government Medical College in Meerut (India) for delivery. To the surprise of the lady and her husband, she was refused to get in the maternity ward. Doctors refused to get involved in delivery process and the poor couple somehow managed the delivery in a discarded ward of the hospital.

This disgusting incident happened just 70 Km from Delhi. As we know Delhi, the city of AIDS activists, a city where there are more AIDS activists than AIDS patient. Surprisingly no social butterfly came in front and said anything comforting for the poor couple. The same AIDS activist become proactive when any globally recognized AIDS activists comes to the country. They are first to line up for receiving huge donations. I really wonder what they do from the money the get. Going to social gatherings is all they do? Isn't it their responsibility to do the ground work at the grass root level? If at all we want to remove AIDS, we have to go in depths.

As per the Supreme Court Law, no hospital can refuse to admit an AIDS patient. News channels as they always do, carried the story whole day (And forgot about it from the next day). Everybody blamed the heartless doctors. Even a child knows that AIDS doesn’t spread by touching. How come the enlightened doctors (who are supposed to be the most informed) don’t know it?

The days passed but the feeling of disgust kept running at the back of my mind. Last week i talked to my brother who did his MBBS from the same medical college of Meerut and without any delay i opened this topic in front of him. Then came up the story of other side. The story no news channel tells (Because they wan to show something that raises questions, rather answer queries)

Being a government hospital, only poor people come there for treatment. Very often they don’t even have money to pay for the medicines and the operating cost of the treatment, leave alone the doctor's fee. Even if these doctors waiver off their fee, who will pay for the medication. Most of the medicines that are made available for free to the govt hospitals are already black-marketed by the hospital authorities. And the hospital can’t offer any thing to the poor people. Coming back to the point, in 1-2 cases if the patient is very serious, some doctor may come forward to bear the expenses, but he can’t do it
for the 100's of patients that visit the hospital daily. And if this trend is set, many people who can bear the expense would try to look like poor and get the benefit of free of cost treatment at the expense of kind hearted doctors.

Case of AIDS patient is very different from ordinary patients. Very few people know that there should be a separate ward for AIDS patients. And that ward has to be properly equipped to avoid any infection to hospital staff and other patients. The above mentioned hospital is not equipped with such a ward. So technically it cant handle AIDS patients. In addition to this, for the delivery of HIV infected lady there is a standard kit used. That kit costs Rs 500. Again needless to say poor people can’t afford that and individual doctors can’t make this available for each patient. In some case patients don’t reveal that they are HIV infected (Fearing that doctors will refuse the treatment, or from the fear of social stigma). And poor doctors have to do a lot of test and treatment that involves dealing with patient's blood/urine/semen/saliva hence they are at constant risk of getting HIV infected from such dishonest patients. Last statement shocked me to the core. Imagine what a price a doctor might have to pay for the kindheartedness he shows in his profession, "A Death Sentence".

I would like to ask those selectively active AIDS activist, what are they doing for such cases. I hope someone of them comes to this page and spreads the word. We desperately need some infrastructure to fight with this disease. Protection is better than cure. Agreed!! But in the present circumstances only awareness won’t do. What about those who are already infected. If a doctor is not properly equipped, why will he go close to the patients and treat them?


Shrinidhi Hande said...

I've blog rolled you.

Can you reciprocate?

Unknown said...

absolutely thought provoking.. well done.

Nitin Nigam said...

thanks sumit

Unknown said...

I appreciate how well you have written about the thing. I also like your way(style) of writing.
Keep blogging with more weird thoughts :)
Waiting your next posts.