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HIV-positive children pick care home as best bet

Vulnerable to COVID-19, they decided to stay back when schools closed in March

Showing extreme patience and guts, 52 vulnerable HIV positive children have stayed back at the Shraddha Sanjivani Child Care Home (SSCCH) in Odisha’s Gopalpur since March 12 to save themselves from added danger of COVID-19 infection.

“During this COVID-19 pandemic, reports of violation of institutional as well as home quarantine norms are coming up from everywhere. These quarantine violators should learn from these children,” said Lokanath Mishra, founding member of SSCCH. The 52 HIV positive inmates of SSCCH are in the age group of 5 to 15 years. Twenty-six of them are girls.

Low immunity

As lowered immunity due to HIV infection makes these positive children extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, they were completely cloistered at SSCCH, when their schools closed down from March 12 due to COVID-19 pandemic. Seven other inmates, who had visited their relatives or parents at that time, were asked to stay back where they were.

Along with these children, staff members of this special care home also decided to reduce their outside contact to the extreme so that they do not become carriers of COVID-19 to these vulnerable children.

Superintendent of the institute, Akash Guru said, since March eight staff members, including him, have also tried to make these vulnerable children their family.

Any person including the doctor and part time educator, adhere to strict measures of sanitation during every entry from outside.

When asked, do the children feel any boredom or tension because of staying away from home and families for long period, Mr. Mishra said, “We try to keep them engaged throughout the day in different activities to make them forget about their woes.”

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 12:18:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/hiv-positive-children-pick-care-home-as-best-bet/article31958344.ece

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