ART centre inaugurated at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (UNI) A state-of-the-art Anti Retro Viral Therapy (ART) centre was inaugurated at Dr Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital here by Prof Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director, Global Fund on AIDS, TB and Malaria.

The spacious ART centre has a unique air exchange system to avoid cross infection among patients at the centre who have low immunity level. At present the hospital has more than 5,000 patients registered on HIV care and more than 1,500 patients currently on ART therapy. It has linkages with various NGOs to follow up the patients for home based care.

Inaugurating the new facility at the hospital, Prof Michel interacted with the HIV patients who had come for treatment and enquired about the mechanism of supply chain management of ARV drugs. He was briefed about the process of enrolment of HIV positives at the ART centre.

Briefing the media after inauguration, a hospital spokesperson, said the free ART programme was launched on April 1, 2004 in eight government hospitals in six high prevalence states and has since then been scaled up to 174 centres. It is planned to expand the programme to 250 such centres by 2011 and also establish nearly 650 link ART centres (LAC) to facilitate the delivery of ART.

Present on the occasion were Special Secretary to the Govt. of India and National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) Director General K Sujatha Rao, hospital authorities and other officials from Global Fund.

As of September 2008, a total of 5,00,000 patients have been registered in HIV care and 1,77,808 patients who are clinically eligible for ART are receiving free ARVs, a press release here said.

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