Rebellion wrecks HIV efforts in CAR

hivFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – RAGING violence is threatening a successful
programme for HIV/Aids patients in the Central African Republic.
Recent attacks on Zemio, in the southeast have led to the closure of the
sole hospital and forced almost the entire population to flee.
The fleeing members include doctors and some 1 600 HIV patients who need daily antiretroviral medication to survive.
Wil van Roekel, medical coordinator at Doctors without Borders, said the
organisation’s storeroom, containing six months worth of medication, was looted.
Some patients said supplies they kept at home had been burned during attacks.
“Since the latest attacks, when most of the population fled, we have lost
all access to these patients and have had to suspend the programme,” van Roekel said.
Van Roekel said without antiretroviral medication patients are at high
risk of death from tuberculosis (TB).
“The suspension of the programme will definitely increase the number of infections in the community.”
Patients and nurses in Zemio have been under siege from extremists.
In July, a baby was shot dead in her mother’s arms inside the hospital.
Last month, armed men attacked the hospital again and opened fire on the 7 000 displaced people sheltering there, killing 11.
The town’s population has dropped from 21 000 to under 1 000.
“The only people left are those who couldn’t run away such as the elderly and disabled,” Van Roekel said.
– CAJ News

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Posted by on Sep 14 2017. Filed under Featured, National, News, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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