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Elders decry discrimination at VCT centers

16 May 2014, 11:26 Jane Zack

Busia - Western Elders Council has raised concerns over claims that they have for a long time been sidelined by public hospitals when they go to seek VCT services, and called upon the National Government to intervene.

Addressing the press on their behalf in Busia town, the Council Secretary General Japheth Barua said Thursday that elders who are HIV positive were segregated in most hospitals when they go for HIV/AIDs testing.

Barua also said that doctors and nurses are not considering that the elders could have contracted the disease, especially those between the ages of 45 and 55 adding that when such elders go to hospitals, younger medics look down upon them.

Former Nambale legislator, Philip Masinde has also appealed to the government to employ more doctors to cope with the rising number of people who seek medical attention in public hospitals.

‘‘Hospitals should be equipped with drugs since many families in this County are poor and cannot afford to purchase drugs,’’ Masinde said.

However, Barua disclosed that they have sent recommendations to the national government  to have retired medical practitioners absorbed in public hospitals in order to help guide and counsel elders who go for HIV testing and check ups.

Barua noted, ‘‘This will help elders, who would otherwise succumb to the killer disease in their homes, to seek medical attention in hospitals.”

He further called upon the government to include elders in committees of various health institutions in a bid to ensure that drugs are well managed.

‘‘By including elders in health institution committees, we shall be sure that all HIV programmes are undertaken and victims are sensitized through guiding and counseling,’’ Barua said on their behalf.

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