Pained at the plight of child AIDS patients, a Parliamentary Standing Committee has expressed concern over the Government not having any rehabilitation policy for HIV-affected patients and their dependents.
The Parliamentary committee on health, chaired by Amar Singh, said it was pained to see the plight of small children affected by the disease “who will be requiring the ART treatment in the long run”.
The committee recommended that the department should intensify efforts to detect HIV+ children by identifying affected mothers and ensuring full care and support to them.
It also expressed concern for the welfare of the HIV patients and their dependents.
The panel said that on a specific enquiry regarding initiatives taken by the department to come up with a rehabilitation policy for AIDS patients and their dependents, it was informed that there is no such scheme.
“The committee does not find the department’s response to be a health one,” it said.
It opined that financial security to the patients and their dependents will be a boon to the Government’s fight against the epidemic and help in containing it.
The committee expressed concern at the increasing number of HIV+ children and rising trend of HIV prevalence among pregnant women in “low prevalence but vulnerable states” of north India.
This may be either due to the department’s proactive approach in identifying and tracking the HIV+ mothers or it may be an indication of rise of the disease in the low prevalent states, it said in a report.