Parents Resort Herbal Drugs To Treat HIV Children
LEFT with no other option as government has failed to make human immunodeficiency virus / acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) drugs available in facilities across Taraba State for children living with HIV, parents have started seeking the help of herbal medicine practitioners to treat their children.
The development, which if not urgently address may escalate crisis in the fight against HIV, is thriving because of government’s alleged lukewarm attitude towards supplying drugs, nivirapine, to treatment facilities in the state.Nivirapine drug is used to cushion the effect of HIV among paediatrics.
The Taraba State Chairman of Person Living With HIV/AIDS, Abraham Johnson, who made this known yesterday, felt dejected at the way and manner government has continued to treat children living with the condition with kid glove.
The chairman, who made the revelation at the presentation of motorbike to network of people living with the condition by the Taraba State Agency for the Control of Aids (TACA),said ” we have gone back to herbal treatment of our children because of lack of nivirapine drugs in the facilities.”
Although he lauded the efforts be make to support the group, he said the dream of halting the spread of the disease would be a mirage should government continue to drag its feet.
Johnson said: ” It is very unfortunate that Taraba and Abia states happened to be the guinea pigs to be use by Nigeria government to see whether we are going to succeed or fail in HIV treatment, care and support.”
Wondering why the relevant authority has failed to swing into action by addressing the continue rise in the prevalence rate of HIV/AID in the state, he said ” as I speak to you now, I don’t know what is happening to our children. We don’t know how many have defaulted; we don’t know how many are actually on drugs; we don’t know how many children have been delivered and have not been administered the right dose of Nivirapine as prescribed by medical rules and regulations for HIV/AIDS treatment, care and support.”
Citing the case of his daughter who was delivered “two months ago” and has not been taking back to the hospital ” after six weeks” to ascertain her status at the standard laboratory of the Federal Medical Center, Jalingo.
He said:” Currently, we are going back on herbal treatment. We have reversed prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) from where we wanted to go. Every facilities in the state, there is no paediatrics nivirapine for children.
” If there is no free prevention of HIV/AIDS for children, we will continue to have HIV/AIDS positive persons throughout our lives.”
Reacting to Johnson’s claim, the state team leader for state project implementation team for HIV/AIDS response, Dr. MUsa Obadiah, said ” we are aware that there is a little shortfall which is being address presently.”
Accusing Johnson of ” overblowing” the issue, Obadiah said the issue of ” nivirapine suspension is not available in some few facilities, but the tablets are splits to complement that shortfall.”
He made it known that the affected facilities have began to receive delivering of the said drugs ,stating that ” last night we receive a stock of drug from the zonal office in Gombe state.”