KOLHAPUR: As many as 127 children in the city and fringe areas living with HIV require help from the society to survive. They require nutritious food since they are on high medication, said officials of NGO Vihan, working for the HIV infected children in the district.
These children are extremely poor or orphans who cannot afford nutritious food. Donors should come forward to help them, said Sanjay Saul, programme manager of Vihan.
Vihan is taking care of 510 HIV infected children. Out of this, 280 cannot afford nutritious food. Following an earlier appeal, around 153 of these children were adopted by charity organizations and individuals.
“There is specific requirement of calories and other necessary intake when the child is on HIV medication. Often, these children are depressed due to the stigma attached to HIV. They often fall ill as HIV attacks their immune system. In such conditions, nutritious food only can help them to survive,” Saul said.
“Some of these children live with their parents, while the orphans are being taken care of by other hostel facilities. “Every month we arrange a camp at Vihan and conduct medical check ups on them. We also invite the parents so that they could be aware of the condition of their child. During this camp, we distribute the children a month’s pack of medicine and nutritious food,” Saul added.
The NGO is looking for donors who could adopt responsibility of annual food packs of the children. Any individual can donate Rs 4,800 towards the cost of the annual pack to save at least one child’s life, the NGO said.
Deepa Shipurkar, programme officer of the Kolhapur district AIDS control unit, is helping the NGO to find donors. Recently, the Mahalaxmi Annachhatra Seva Trust has adopted over 100 children for monthly food packs, she said.
According to the unit’s estimate, 1,100 children in the district, in the 6 to 16 years age-group are living with HIV.
Source- Times of India