No assistance yet for HIV infected patient

Report by: 
ROOPA LALL
Port Blair
7 Dec 2017

Two days after EOI published the report of an HIV infected person wandering in the premises of GB Pant Hospital here, not a single agency has come forward to aid the patient. While it appears that the authorities concerned are shrugging off their responsibility, the HIV patient, allegedly indulging in thefts in different Wards of the hospital, remains a concern for in-patients. An official of the A & N AIDS Control Society, on conditions of anonymity, informed that the society is unable to initiate any steps for the welfare of the HIV patient unless its receives a formal complaint or report from either the Police or the hospital authorities. “It is learnt that the family of the patient abandoned him immediately after learning about the HIV infection. He probably suffers from mental ailment and therefore is committing thefts in the hospital. HIV-AIDS is a very sensitive issue and therefore are two modes of testing – voluntary and provider initiative. Either the OPD doctors refer for HIV tests or NGOs working in the field refer such matters to the Society. But even after the newspaper report, neither the hospital authorities nor the Police came forward with the complaint. We will definitely take appropriate action immediate after receipt of such information,” said the official.
Speaking to EOI, the Medical Superintendent of GB Pant Hospital, Dr SP Burma, said that he came to learn about the HIV patient only after coming across the newspaper report. “I am in the process of ascertaining the facts about the matter. HIV is a sensitive issue as there are many social stigma associated with the disease. I will definitely look into the matter for an appropriate redressal,” he said.
EOI recently reported about burglary allegedly committed by a HIV infected person at GB Pant Hospital here. Sharp increase in theft cases has been recorded in the New Male Ward 1 and 2 of the hospital where the HIV patient, reportedly infected by HIV virus, taking advantage of absence of security guards, plunders away with mobile phones, gold or other valuables of patients admitted in the Wards during night hours. However, no action has been initiated by the authorities to detain the patient reportedly for fear of contracting the deadly infection.