Govt urged not to press panic button

National, Normal

By Almanzo Matbob

NATIONAL AIDS Council deputy chairman Joseph Egu says there is hope for medical funding and those infected by HIV/AIDS and the Government should not press the panic button.
“There is still hope for funding although the submission to the United Nations Global Fund has failed. The option of re-submission is still there,” he said.
Mr Egu said there were so many HIV/AIDS awareness programmes in the country but the spread of the disease continued to soar.
 “Art is the lifeline for HIV positive people and we must stop hiding and come out. With numbers we have power to do things,” he told The National.
Mr Egu said he had plans to engage those infected by HIV to do work to subsidise the cost of their medication.
“They have to do something at the provincial level to help them, instead of waiting for handouts.
“Health workers and those infected should work together with common understanding to come up with problem-solving solutions instead of finger-pointing,” he said.
Care, Counselling and Community Support co-ordinator of the Madang Provincial AIDS Council Comrad Waduna said the Department of Health had assured in a meeting last week that there would be enough medication for those infected by HIV.
Mr Waduna urged those infected in the province to look after themselves to avoid getting second line treatment, which was very expensive.
“We have 133 confirmed cases in Madang but the infection is spreading because many are hiding or did not know that they are HIV carriers.
“The people must voluntarily check their health status by going for tests. This will help us plan for the future and to contain the spread,” he added.