Site search Web search Search this site or the web powered by FreeFind
UPDATE IN A NUTSHELL: Situation is resolved.
(As of 24 July 2003)
Currently, the government is paying for the necessary medicine. We are sending $21,000 in medicine to Timisoara and we were able to offer medication at a value of $200,000. Due to politics, the last offer couldn't be accepted.
AIDS Care Remains Without Money
Article Reprint from <<Jurnalul National>> , Year 7, Series IX, Nr. 1935, Saturday 2 October 1999, p. 1, by Claudia Branea and Gabriel Vlasceanu.
"The general poverty of Romania has dramatic effects in all the levels of society. Those whose future is most in doubt among the people of this country--those affected with HIV and sick with AIDS--are condemned once again. They are, beginning today, without treatment. The State funds for financing hospitals that ensure the care for those sick with this serious diagnosis have been depleted.
"That which Jurnalul National has asserted many times has become, regretably, reality. Seropositive adults and children in Romania will not get free treatment. Beginning yesterday, 1 October 1999, the Matei Bals Institute (Colentina Hospital) of Bucharest was forced to interrupt treatment because of large debts to the medical companies.
"Beginning 1 October, AIDS-infected adults and children in Romania, including those infected with the HIV virus will no longer receive free medication. Dr. Adrien Streinu Cercel, Director of the Colentina Hospital and President of the Commission to fight against AIDS in the Ministry of Health, declared that medicine remaining in the hospital will last only 2-3 days even treating only some of those who are sick. 'The Matei Bals Institute (Colentina Hospital) was forced to stop treatment for those sick with AIDS because of a lack of funds. The life of at least 1400 patients, among whom most are children, is thus put in danger. The hospital owes medical companies over 57 million lei [$3455], among which 30 million lei are only for medicine that we administer to AIDS patients, through the National Program of Supervision and Control of AIDS and HIV Infection.' Dr. Streinu Cercel declared to us. Other treatment centers in Romania find themselves in the same situation. The lack of funds will create growth in the number of AIDS patients, because, not receiving daily treatment, people infected with the HIV virus move very quickly into the fatal phase, AIDS. To the large majority of those infected that owe the ordeal to the Romanian government in power until 1989 (when the principle vector of transmission was unsterilized medical instruments) the whole country has a moral debt to continue to pay for the treatment.
"Sources at the Ministry of Health state that although the budget of this institution should be about 150 billion lei ($909,091), this money has not yet been received from the Finance Ministry. Thus, the chance that the debt amassed by the department of HIV/AIDS are nil. The cost of this treatment regimen is $1000. The doctors of the Coltena Hospital that treat these patients, unfortunately now only with sympathy, affirm that not one of the families of those infected with the disease of the century have the financial resources to cover the costs of treatment. Since the body's immune system is attacked, the patients are not permitted to come in contact with any type of sickness. They must take medication 10 times a day to prevent any small infection that could be fatal. Equally as important is that they have assistance and nourishment even though these too are expensive. These people, at least the children, don't have any chance of surviving. The only thing which treatment does is prolong their lives: 'Reaching the AIDS phase, the sick can live 5 years, some of them possibly longer. More serious is with those infected with HIV that without treatment pass immediately in the fatal phase of the disease. All that we have done over the years for them will be nullified,' affirmed Dr. Streinu-Cercel.
"Since AIDS treatment is covered by the National House of Health Insurance, these medications should be paid from the money collected in national insurance funds. The problem is that nobody knows who will pay its present debts. On 30 September, the National House of Societal Health Insurance (CNASS) assumed the National HIV/Aids Program. The Director of CNASS, Dr. Iulian Popescu, declared that the debts will 'probably' be paid: 'Most likely, even the AIDS patients will live until they receive their treatment, since not doing so will mean certain death. Studies have shown that the cessation of treatment can have a major impact on the sick person, the disease advances and certain death follows. Even if the treatment is restarted, the patient may not respond as well from a medical point of view.'
The AIDS Epidemic
"From 1985, when the first case of AIDS was diagnosed in Romania, until the present, the number of patients has grown rapidly. Presently, 3566 cases are recorded, among which 3037 are children. These people are still alive, but their future depends on money and treatment. Those known infected with HIV are 7000 children and 1500 adults. The major vector of viral transmission is now from mother to child, but very many of these children contracted the virus through non-sterile medical instruments.
"Children sick from AIDS need meals rich in calories and vitamins, costing 1-1.5 million lei ($61-90) per month. Amarandei Nelu, President of the Raza Soarelui Association of Valea Jiului, declares, 'To ensure nourishment for a child sick with AIDS costs between one and one and a half million lei per month. The salary of a caretaker [paid by the state to one stay-at-home parent as social assistance] is 550,000 lei ($33). How can this money assure meals for the child? If an AIDS child is not nourished as he needs to be, he becomes even more susceptible to the opportunistic diseases.' At lease once a month, parents must take the child to Bucharest or to Timisoara for testing. When complications appear, the children must be taken to be examined another twice a month.
"By Government Ordinance #102 of June, it was established that for children sick with AIDS and their parents don't receive payment any more for their transportation. When we asked the Secretary of State for the Handicapped why this decision was made, they told us that it is a clerical error, but from that time nothing has been done to correct it. From Valea Jiului to Bucharest, a second class train ticket costs 70,000 lei ($4) per person. Thus, for parent and child, the round-trip train ticket alone costs 280,000 lei ($17),' Amaranda Nelu declared. Asked how she thinks the parents from Valea Jiului will react when they hear that there are no more funds for medication, Amaranda Nelu said,'These parents are accustomed to bad news.'"
Then there appears a child's picture with the caption,
"There is no chance for this child. The Romanian State, that can't ensure a health system even slightly acceptable, has now reached a situation to leave him to incurable sicknesses."
What you can do:
Educate yourself and others
Romania "accounts for 60 percent of [juvenile HIV] cases across the European continent, largely due to communist-era use of untested blood, lack of disposable syringes and poor hygiene. Since 1990, 1,895 children and 204 adults have died of AIDS-related illnesses."("Romania probes child HIV infections for first time." The Business Review . November 9-15, 1998. p. 2) A Ministry of Health report published in early November 1998 with US and Canadian help showed that 8,123 of 9,419 registered AIDS cases involved children.(UNAIDS fax to SCOP dated March 4, 1998.)
Interested in donating? Have suggestions? me at .
Phone: (4) 0722.889.267
Address: Post Restant
115300 Curtea de Arges (AG)