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General News of Saturday, 2 September 2017

Source: starrfmonline.com

Social Welfare, AIDS Commission abandon 7-year-old HIV boy

Three months after Starr News reported on the plight of a 7-year-old HIV KG pupil abandoned by his family in the New Juaben Municipality of the Eastern Region, the Department of Social Welfare and the Ghana AIDS Commission have failed to provide help for the victim.

The health condition of the boy keeps deteriorating due to hunger and absence of proper home care though he has been put on anti-retroviral drugs by a Community Health Nurse, Dorothy Amaninbea, who discovered the troubling condition of the victim.

The Nurse who has since been providing support for the victim is now pursuing further education at Atibie Nursing and Midwifery College affecting her continued support for the child.

The boy has significantly lost weight in the last two months. His ill health his participation in the end of term promotional exams.

The Department of Social Welfare in the New Juaben Municipality promised to facilitate support for the boy by re-locating him to a caregiver due to the poor home care and stigmatization in the community but the Social Welfare seems to be relenting on its responsibility.

The social welfare has, however, managed to put the 80-year-old grandmother of the boy on the LEAP Program for a gh100 monthly support.

The Eastern regional branch of Ghana AIDS Commission has also failed to provide assistance to the boy.

Background

The 7-year-old boy has been neglected by his family at Koforidua-Effiduase in the Eastern region due to his HIV status. He contracted the deadly virus from his mother through child birth.

Information gathered by Starr News indicate that family members have shirked their responsibility of taking care of the 7-year-old and his two other siblings who are currently staying with their aged grandmother.

The mother of the children who is an HIV patient, abandoned the children and disappeared from the family house six years ago and has since not returned. The family believe the mother of the children is dead.

Meanwhile, the father of the three children has also disappeared. Since family members realized the mother of the three children had HIV/AIDS, they have dumped and discriminated against the children.

Due to financial difficulties, the grandmother had been unable to send the young HIV/AIDS patient to the hospital to be put on anti-retroviral drugs. It took the intervention of a community health nurse, Dorothy Amaninbea, who got wind of the situation and took the children for HIV testing.

The results showed that the two elder siblings were HIV negative, however, the 7-year-old tested positive and since put on anti-retroviral drugs but in a poor living condition.

Stigmatization

Reports indicate that the 7-year-old is being stigmatized in the community and in his school following an announcement by his auntie in the school that he was HIV positive.

The auntie reportedly stormed the school to inform his teacher that, the boy is HIV positive hence should be handled with care.

Since then, the information has gone viral in School. The teacher of the victim is alleged to have been stigmatizing against the pupil, an allegation the school has denied.

The New Juaben Municipal Director of Ghana Education Service, Mr. Kwame Ofori said, GES was investigating the allegation of stigmatization against the boy by the teacher since it is unethical.

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