25 August 2010
By Basavaraj F Kattimani
Sadly, the centre hasn’t become fully operational. It still doesn’t have a CD4–machine (which determines the strength of the immune system) to determine the precise course of treatment and there is no experienced doctor on call. While the centre has a staff nurse, technician and pharmacist, the blood samples are still being sent to KIMS in Hubli.
HIV patients allege that new HIV cases are not being handled here but sent to KIMS hospital. Only HIV patients referred here are given medicines as per the advice of senior KIMS doctors. The staff are not trained to handle HIV cases.
Suresh (name changed), an HIV patient from Dharwad, complained of a doctor’s negligence at ART: "I had to suffer a lot after the haemoglobin count in my blood went down drastically. The ATR centre staff didn’t take me seriously and I was given some general medicine. After my condition became serious, I was advised to go to KIMS for blood transfusion on the advice of a KIMS doctor," he said.
Dr Achhut, incharge of civil hospital, Dharwad told TOI the ART centre doesn’t yet have the requisite equipment to test and treat HIV patients. "Though we have a doctor at the centre, we’re only providing medicines and treatment to the patients referred by KIMS. In the next six months, this centre will definitely be a full–fledged one and provide better service. We’re also awaiting for the CD4 machine to be installed."