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NGO Requests Allowance For HIV/AIDS Patients 

By Olive Ejang Ngoh

The Chief Executive Officer of Bellah Village Development Information for the Fight Against HIV/AIDS, BEVDETA, Bertine Tsakeng, has called on government to offer HIV/AIDS patients allowances.

Tsakeng spoke to The Post on May 25, after a five-year research on patients suffering from the pandemic. He said since 2004, they have been conducting research on why HIV/AIDS continue to spread rapidly, despite preventive measures set forth by government. Tsakeng said some patients, who lack the basic finances like transportation to go in for free drugs, prostitute to raise this money.

He said through prostitution, the pandemic continues to spread at an alarming rate. Tsakeng also pointed out that, with the increase in the cost of living, HIV/AIDS patients who cannot feed well to build their immune systems continue to die. Consequently, he proposed that if these patients are placed on a monthly allowance, HIV/AIDS prevalence would be reduced.

The AIDS educationist said with such allowances, patients could start income-generating activities that would help sustain their lives. Tsakeng appealed to government to implement this strategy to curb the spread of HIV and prolong the lifespan of HIV patients. He also proposed that HIV/AIDS campaign by government should be a daily event and not just the December 1 commemoration.

He equally proposed that the distribution of condoms should be free of charge, though they are not encouraging prostitution. The BEVDETA CEO advised HIV patients to come out of their status and face life, because being HIV positive is not an end to their existence. An HIV/AIDS patient in Kumba, who preferred not to be named, told The Post that if government could give them a monthly allowance, it would help them a lot.

She narrated how she contracted the pandemic through a man in a hotel, just after one day of sexual intercourse, in her quest to get money to start a business. The patient narrated that even though they have free treatment, it’s not easy to follow quality diet without finances.The patient said government is able to provide this assistance considering the rich resources in the country, rather than allowing embezzlers to continue pilfering public funds.

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