UP: After reports of HIV cases in Unnao, quacks disappear fearing raids
The quacks, who offered treatment for as little as Rs 5 and Rs 10 along with medicines, were the lifeline for Premgunj residents who rarely go to the community health centre in Bangermau.Updated: Feb 08, 2018 23:13 IST
Following the arrest of an unlicensed self-styled doctor accused of infecting at least 58 people with HIV in Uttar Pradesh’s Unnao, other such fake medical practitioners in the surrounding areas have shut shop fearing police raids.
The quacks, who offered treatment for as little as Rs 5 and Rs 10 along with medicines, were the lifeline for Premgunj residents who rarely go to the community health centre in Bangermau.
There are only six doctors against the 12 sanctioned strength for the centre, and none of them are specialists. “These doctors were our only hope. We cannot afford treatment in Kanpur or Lucknow. Where do we go now?” said Ramsakhi Devi, 45, a resident of Premgunj, the village from where 50 of the 58 confirmed HIV cases were reported.
“I do not understand why these doctors should be arrested; at least their medicines work and are affordable. Doctors at the CHC write medicines that are not available at their pharmacy and cost a fortune outside,” she said.
Adding to their misery is the stigma attached to HIV. “All my friends from other villages have abandoned me, saying I am from the HIV village. They don’t even want to talk or sit together for a cup of tea,” said Ajay Kumar, a BEd student from a private college in Premgunj.
People are already feeling socially ostracised. “Marriage proposals for my friends in Kirmidiyapur village were turned down after the news spread,” said 35-year-old Seema Gautam. “My children are young, but I will eventually have to look for partners for them. This stigma will remain for life,” she added.
First Published: Feb 08, 2018 23:13 IST