Speaking to TOI, Lt Col A K Khajuria, assistant health officer, KCB, said the ICTC centre at the cantonment hospital would benefit around one lakh people of the Khadki cantonment.
The Ambedkar hospital is the largest hospital within the cantonment limits. The KCB has been initiating a number of steps to improve the facilities and provide better treatment at the hospital, which caters to people from the cantonment limits as well as the surrounding areas.
Khajuria said the centre would be a boon. “Free tests to determine whether a person is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive or not will be conducted here. Moreover, free medicines will be provided to patients.”
R C Bhosale, resident medical officer (RMO) at the Ambedkar hospital, said, “KCB officials worked hard to get permission for opening the ICTC centre here. The MSACS has sent a letter saying the ICTC centre from the Sanjay Gandhi general hospital run by the Pune Municipal Corporation will be shifted to Ambedkar hospital. The centre became operational on December 1, which is also the World AIDS Day.”
“The cantonment board has given a room at the hospital for the ICTC centre. The centre is being handled by a counsellor and lab technician provided by the MSACS, which has also given the furniture and equipment to store medicines. Our hospital pathologist will supervise their work.”
Earlier, for HIV–detection tests, people had to go to the Sasoon hospital or the Pimpri–Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s Yashwantrao Chavan memorial hospital or the National AIDS Research Institute which are all far off. “One test for HIV costs at least Rs 250 at private hospitals. Three blood tests for three antigens are conducted for a patient. If a patient tests positive for all the three antigens, then he/she is declared to be HIV–positive. These tests will be conducted free of cost at the ICTC centre,” said Bhosale.
He added, “All Elisa tests of patients admitted to our hospital will be done at the ICTC centre. Deliveries for HIV–positive pregnant women will be also conducted here.”