Moldovan HIV/AIDS-infected children for the first time shall benefit from a special department they will be treated in
From now on, HIV-infected children in the Republic of Moldova have three renovated wards with two beds each on the premises of the Republican Dermatovenerological Dispensary in Chisinau.
The renovation and equipping of the wards has been possible due to the financial support amounting to $52,000 on the part of the German National Committee for UNICEF channeled through the UNICEF Office in the Republic of Moldova.
The financial assistance came after the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Germany visited Chisinau in August 2006. Mrs. Eva Köhler came to the Republican Dermatovenerological Dispensary and talked to hospitalized children and their parents, and then supported UNICEF in fundraising for renovation of a ward for treatment of HIV-infected children.
The official opening of the antiretroviral treatment ward for children took place on the eve of December 1, the World AIDS Day. The opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Health, the UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Moldova, foreign diplomats and representatives of several UN agencies and healthcare institutions.
“We are planning to extend the range and the amount of assistance provided to HIV-infected children and their families essentially within the following years, and we count upon the continuous support on the part of international and donor organizations in this field”, said Minister of Health, Mr. Ion Ababii.
“Unfortunately, HIV and AIDS deprive children of many of their rights – care, love and affection of their parents, teachers; the right to education and future options. The opening of a pediatric subdivision at RDVD is just one part of a bigger project for HIV-infected children supported by UNICEF within 2007-2008”, says UNICEF Representative in Moldova, Mr. Ray Virgilio Torres. This big project foresees Analysis of Situation of HIV-infected Children at the national level, capacity building of healthcare staff and NGOs in their work with these children and their families. At the same time, the project intended to launch a communication campaign to combat stigma, discrimination and isolation of HIV-infected children, as well as to support specific local projects aimed at assisting HIV-infected children and their families. Total project costs amount to 400,000 Euros.
Apart from renovated wards, UNICEF has contributed to arrangement of a playroom for children with a TV set, a music system and special furniture for small children. “Now we will have the possibility to offer separate conditions to mothers and children with HIV/AIDS, as well as children without care. They will have both good treatment conditions and the possibility to have a rest and even play in the hospital”, says Head of the Republican Dermatovenerological Dispensary, Mr. Andrei Gherman.
Before this ward, all HIV-infected children and children born from HIV-infected mothers used to be placed in the same ward with HIV-infected adults. This had a negative effect on children from the psychological point of view – among the hospitalized adults there would be many representatives of extremely vulnerable groups such as drug users, workers of commercial sex industry, and other categories whose behavior was often incompatible with children’s stay in the ward. In addition, children were always subject to the risk of contamination with other infections from adult patients, and the conditions in the ward were not adapted to the needs specific for early age.
Within the last years, the rate of HIV/AIDS infection among women, including pregnant, increased in Moldova (from 25% in 2000 to 44.4% in 2006). In 2006, 62 pregnant women were tested HIV-positive and 52 of them gave birth (data is collected only for the right bank of the Nistru River). Currently, 41 HIV-positive children under 18 are in treatment with confirmed diagnosis, of which 19 need and receive antiretroviral treatment.