Loss of medication for HIV contaminated youngsters

Chitwan, Nov. 12: There is a shortage of essential medicines for HIV-infected newborns in Chitwan. The AIDS Health Care Foundation has been running out of medicines for newborns born to infected mothers for the past six months.

The foundation says there has been a shortage of medicine for the past six months. According to Dr Yuvanidhi Basaula, a liaison person and pediatrician at the Anti-Retro Viral Therapy Clinic (ART) operating at Bharatpur Hospital, the clinic is currently short of a drug called ‘Zidobutin’ which is needed for newborns. “This medicine is given to children at high risk,” he said.

It is used in mothers who do not take regular medication, mothers who have been diagnosed with an infection during childbirth, and babies born to a mother who has given birth to a child less than eight weeks after being infected with HIV. Dr. Basaula, a pediatrician, said that although the medicine is available free of cost, it is not available now. This medicine should be given regularly to a child born to an HIV-infected mother for three months.

Twelve infected mothers have given birth to 13 children in the district so far in 2021 BS. Five of them are at high risk. He added that he was worried about getting infected due to lack of medicine. “There is no medicine for children at high risk,” he said.

Low-risk babies need to use a drug called ‘Nevirapin’ for up to six weeks. He said that the same drug was also used on children at high risk. Babies born to HIV-infected mothers need to be given this medicine within two hours.

He said that there has been a shortage of Cotimoxazole and IPT for TB patients in the clinic for the past 10 months. According to Dr. Basaula, a pediatrician, 300 patients have been affected due to these drugs. He said the problem was that the government could not procure medicines on time.File Photo


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