NATIONAL Capital District Governor Powes Parkop yesterday toured voluntary counselling and testing sites in the city to see for himself the work that is being done and hear the grievances of the staff.
The tour, organised by the NCD provincial AIDS council, involved NACS acting director Wep Kanawi, stakeholders and partners such as Family Health International, the Health Department and Hope Worldwide.
HIV/AIDS southern region medical officer, Dr Gideon Nano told Mr Parkop that the Heduru VCT clinic at the Port Moresby General Hospital (POMGH) had two ongoing problems – lack of office space and poor office ventilation.
Dr Gideon said that due to the increase in patients coming in for testing, counselling and treatment, the number of patients had surpassed the 1,200 estimated number and increased to more than 2,100.
He said also that it was the office space that really bothered them as it was getting too small to serve the needs of the city.
Mr Parkop said he would see what he could do with office spaces which were desperately needed.
He said he hoped to continue this kind of visits and make them regular.
Mr Parkop said that HIV was not just another health issue but was a critical, socio-economic issue that needed everyone’s support.
He also agreed that at the national level, not too much interest was shown there, but that was the place that needed initiatives to take place.
Mr Parkop concluded his tour of Heduru clinic by urging people to come forward and have themselves tested for HIV/AIDS and treated for STIs, TB and others.
He also visited Nine-Mile clinic, the Kaugere Foursquare clinic and the Lawes Road VCT clinic.