20 June 2010
By Jyoti Shelar
The Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) will soon open three new Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) centers in the suburbs.
Reason: The existing seven centers are already over crowded with HIV–positive patients and the staff is having a tough time handling the crowd.
The three centers are slotted to be opened at Siddharth Hospital in Goregaon, MT Agarwal Hospital in Mulund and Shatabti Hospital in Chembur
"We are in the process of getting staff and other infrastructure in place. The centers should start in another two months," said Dr SS Kudalkar, project officer, MDACS.
Currently, the ART centers have 55,000 registered patients who are HIV–positive, of which about 16,000 patients are taking ART across the city. As per rules, any ART center should not have more than 2,000 patients. However, with increasing HIV infections and a large number of migrant population in the city, the centers have registered at least 6–7 times more patients.
The ART center at the state–run JJ Hospital has about 10,000 patients and the list continues to increase. Parel’s KEM Hospital has 8,000 patients while Sion Hospital has 6,000.
According to Kudalkar, all the centers are located in one part of the city due to which the patients face inconvenience too. "The new centers will divide the crowd and help in relieving the load from existing centers," he added.
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