Barmer govt hospital not equipped for surgery on HIV-positive
Most people have to travel at least 200 km to Jodhpur or places in Gujarat for the surgery.jaipur Updated: Apr 01, 2018 21:48 IST
If people living with HIV/AIDS in Rajasthan’s Barmer need a surgery, they have to travel at least 200 km to Jodhpur or places in Gujarat because the district’s biggest government hospital, health officials say, is not equipped to perform the job.
“I have raised this issue with the district administration and the health department many times, but to no avail,” said Devidan Charan, president of the Barmer Network for People living with HIV/AIDS (BNP+). “People are facing this problem for many years.”
A pregnant woman was recently refused a C-section after she was found to be HIV-infected, Charan said. “A gynaecologist at the district hospital suggested caesarean delivery and was ready for the surgery until she found out the woman’s HIV status.”
The woman was referred to Jodhpur in a critical condition, said the president of the voluntary organisation. “People living with HIV/AIDS face the same problem at private hospitals too.”
Barmer’s principal medical officer Dr BL Mansuriya admitted that the hospital refers HIV-infected people to Jodhpur. “It is not negligence or inhuman behaviour on our part; this happens due to lack of facilities.”
Mansuriya said the Barmer district hospital has only one functional operation theatre. “In case of surgery for any highly contagious disease, such as HIV, we need to disinfect the instruments used and fumigate the operation theatre before conducting any further procedure to prevent spread of the disease,” he said.
“This process takes at least 24 hours, during which we cannot do any other emergency procedures in that operation theatre.”
According to health activist Sanjay Thakur, 1,500 HIV-positive people are registered with ART (anti-retroviral therapy) centre at the district hospital and 1,071 with BNP+.
“If any HIV-positive, residing in Barmer, requires an emergency surgical procedure in case one meets with an accident and if the situation is of saving one’s life, what will be the stand of medical authorities in Barmer?” Thakur asked. “It is a serious situation and the government should take serious note of it.”