Army hospitals to handle AIDS more humanely


New Delhi : The doctors and nursing staff of army hospitals need to handle patients suffering from Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) more sensitively and with a human face, Lt. Gen J. Jayaram, director general of the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) said Thursday.
Inaugurating a 10-day workshop on management of patients with AIDS and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) at the Army Hospital (Research and Referral) here, Jayaram said: “Though HIV prevalence among our force is much less than the civilians yet the young population needs to be careful.”

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“The high risk population, migratory job, staying away from families are factors that we need to take care of. Our doctors and nursing staff are doing their job but need to do it with more sensitivity,” he said.

He said the armed forces hospitals are taking help from National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO), several NGOs and the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA) in handling the health menace.

“We will tell commanders to play their role in this field,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Shashi Bala, additional director general of the Military Nursing Service (MNS), said that all hospitals need “a human approach for the management of patients with HIV/AIDS”.

She also appealed to the nursing community of the armed forces “to become fluent in the language of AIDS and handle patients with extreme sensitivity”.

“The whole aim is reduce stigma, discrimination and isolation for patients,” Bala said.

The 10-day-workshop from Thursday will equip concerned health officials of several hospitals under the Western Command about HIV/AIDS, and how to provide best possible care to people suffering from the disease.

Jayaram further advised the participants about the need to develop good communication skills to unravel the cultural, social and personal values and beliefs of each patient. He said this would help in formulating further effective prevention and control measures against HIV/AIDS.

“We should try our best so that patients will not hesitate to come forward and reveal their problem,” he said.