Panaji: The authorities of the Goa Medical College (GMC) and hospital, Bambolim, are in for some trouble with ‘Positive People’, an NGO working for people with HIV/AIDS. The non governmental welfare organization has warned them that it would move the Human Rights Commission, (GHRC), if the CD4 machine at the Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) Center of the college is not repaired by the month’s end.
The machine has not been in proper working order since November 2016, and though repaired last week, went into a dysfunctional state three days ago again. HIV patients in need of the Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART), need to be administered the CD4 test to counter their viral load. Presently with the machine not operational, those stricken with HIV are being given ART merely on the basis of a clinical analysis without a check of their viral load. CD4 cells go a long way in combating bodily infection.
In a TOI report, Dr Jose D’Sa, Project Director, Goa State AIDS Control Society (GSACS), however said that the machine was repaired last week and is functioning. “It is in working condition,” said D’Sa.
Contradicting D’sa, Raj Vaidya, Treasurer, Positive People, revealed that they had been sending people to the college who had informed that the machine had developed a fault again.
“Last week, we (representative of NGOs) had complained to the Project Director, GSACS about the non-functioning of the machine, and it was repaired, but stopped working two days later,” Vaidya said. The machine calls for replacement he added.
The Goa State NGO forum on HIV/AIDS held a meeting to discuss the issue in detail, with feedback from the member organization as well
“If no solution is arrived at by end of January, the forum felt that the matter should be reported to Goa State Human Rights Commission,” said Vaidya. He was of the opinion that a proposal for a new machine be forwarded to the state government, which was a need of the hour. A new machine he felt would reduce pressure on the current CD4 machine and also put an end to breakdowns.
Approximately 7000 patients have registered themselves with ART. The therapy administers a combination of HIV medicines, preventing the disease from multiplying and destroying CD4 cells that fight infection in the body. Those put on Art therapy have low or rapidly falling CD 4 count.