People living with HIV/AIDS in Bauchi State seek government’s intervention in treatment cost



The Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Bauchi State chapter, on Tuesday sought the state government’s intervention in the treatment of members to curtail health complications among them.

Coordinator of the network, Mr Abdullahi Ibrahim, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi that the N3,000 cost of the biannual haematology screening had scared members away from attending clinics.

He added that members could no longer access free supplements and anti- malarial drugs in dedicated facilities since 2014.

“The cost of treatment is a burden to our members as only the antiretroviral drugs and sometimes Septrin, an anti-malarial, are provided to patients free by development partners.

“Our members visit primary healthcare centres for drugs only since the haematology screening is conducted only at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH).

“The idea is that, if a house head has dependants that are all positive for the virus, he cannot afford to pay the bills.

“ This will make the family members’ health to deteriorate.

“People with HIV are to go through haematology screening after every six months and the charge at ATBUTH is N3,000.

“We are grateful to the present Chief Medical Director at ATBUTH who slashed the amount by 50 per cent to support us.

“If a client does not take the test, he or she will not know his or her condition,’’ Ibrahim said.

The coordinator acknowledged that the state government was committed to the fight against the spread of the disease.

Ibrahim also lamented the dearth of public enlightenment information about the virus in local communities and in media outlets.

He said that signposts and other visual materials were no longer available to create awareness about HIV.

The coordinator urged health workers to do more on information around mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

He said that health workers should be abreast with current information to ensure that babies were born free of the virus.

“Childbirth is another channel for transmitting the virus, the information is there in the dedicated facilities.

“We expect that quality and genuine information should come from health workers to stem new infections,’’ he said. (NAN)