Nduta (Tanzania): at least five children tested positive for HIV/AIDS, a first since 2015

Nduta (Tanzania): at least five children tested positive for HIV/AIDS, a first since 2015

At least five under-two-year old children have tested positive for HIV/AIDS in the Tanzania’s Nduta refugee camp. Refugees are so worried and say they fear that the number of children who received the virus from mothers would be higher. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

The case, which remains secret at first, spreads like wildfire, causing worries among occupants of Nduta.

“Women have gone to hospital for routine vaccinations of their children with MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières), others were sick and requested blood samples. The results showed that at least five under-two-year children are HIV positive,” said a medical source.

Other medical sources say it is the latest case since 2015.

“It’s the first time since 2015 that we’ve discovered such results. It’s really sad and even incomprehensible these days,” they complain.

Children’s parents suspect there has been neglect and denounce poor service.

“Since 2015 when the health component was managed by MSF, at each prenatal consultation, we should see if the pregnant woman had HIV / AIDS or not. If positive the child was protected with regular monitoring so that “he is born without any infection. Follow-up should continue so that the child is not infected through breastfeeding”, explain medical volunteers.

Things have almost changed after the health component has been handed over to the Red Cross and IRC (International Rescue Committee) since end of 2022. According to our sources in the camp, the new managers of the health component are known for their bad service.

“These tests for pregnant women are no longer carried out or are badly done because the staff are considered incompetent and poorly paid with a serious lack of equipment or even medicines”, say well-informed sources who suggest rapid intervention on the part of the UNHCR, humanitarians and the Tanzanian government for good and effective protection of refugees.

For the moment, these kids tested positive for HIV / AIDS are under follow-up provided by MTI (Medical Team International) which deals with chronic diseases.

The refugees fear a great contamination in the camp.

“If we have found five HIV-positive children, it means that all the children born to mothers with HIV/AIDS have been infected here in the camp lately. It’s outrageous. We fear uncontrolled infections throughout the camp,” worry refugees who blame the UNHCR which, they say, “sacrificied the health of those it should protect by granting health component in the hands of the incompetent”.
They recommend a mass testing campaign to avoid the worst.

The Nduta camp has more than 76,000 Burundian refugees.

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