Special Correspondent

‘Infants can be safe if affected pregnant women are treated with Novaris drug in time'

Daddy Home is supplying Novaris drug free of cost to AIDS-affected patients

Aasha workers, ANMs urged to enlighten parents on the efficacy of the drug

KADAPA: Children afflicted by AIDS have rights on par with normal children and persons usurping their rights will be sternly dealt with under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, ICDS Project Director Krishnaveni said on Saturday.

Speaking on the second day of a workshop on protection and empowerment of women and children at the Collectorate, she exhorted officials to elicit opinion of AIDS-hit children on what rights they are foregoing and who is responsible for it.

Public representatives, officials and people should patronise children facing discrimination and untouchability, she said. The Act stipulates measures to rejuvenate the lives of orphan and destitute children.

Of the several lakhs of AIDS-affected persons in the country, 43 per cent of the victims were men, 29 per cent women and 28 per cent children, Ms. Krishnaveni said.

Raja Reddy, president of Daddy Home, an orphanage and home for AIDS victims, said new-born infants would not be affected by AIDS if affected pregnant women were treated with Novaris drug four months before the date of conception. Ninety per cent of children born to 128 AIDS-affected pregnant women treated with Novaris did not contract HIV, Mr. Raja Reddy said. Daddy Home is supplying the drug free of charge, he said. He advised anganwadi and Aasha workers and ANMs to enlighten parents on the efficacy of the drug.

Kadapa district has 6,000 AIDS-affected children and hence the National Health Mission should evolve programmes to extend support services and safeguard the rights of children, he said.

District Peace Corps president K. Rajarathnam Isaac lauded Mr. Raja Reddy for adopting AIDS-affected children and giving them shelter and care in Daddy Home.

Kadapa Member of Parliament Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy adopted two AIDS-affected children in Daddy Home, he said.

Devaiah, Superintendent of Government Juvenile Home for Boys, said Murali, an inmate of the home in the past, is now highly placed.

ICDS staff and representatives of voluntary organisations participated.