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IRIN PlusNews HIV/AIDS News and information service | West Africa | LIBERIA: Strong donor commitment urged amid ongoing war | Care Treatment, Children, Prevention Research, Stigma Human rights | News Items
Tuesday 27 December 2005
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LIBERIA: Strong donor commitment urged amid ongoing war

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


The ongoing war threatens PMTCT programmes

JOHANNESBURG, 30 July (PLUSNEWS) - Non-governmental organisations have appealed to donors to continue supporting HIV/AIDS programmes in Liberia, despite reports that rebels had looted hospitals and clinics in the capital, Monrovia.

"The success of our existing pilot prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) project and expansion of it to parts of rural Liberia depends solely on the goodwill of our donors," president of the US-based Nduaka Educational Foundation (NEF) Chudy Nduaka told the UN news service PlusNews.

NEF is one of the few NGOs dealing with HIV/AIDS in Liberia and is the only one focusing on PMTCT.

Nduaka added that while the pilot programme had some 1,000 pregnant women, the climbing death toll in Monrovia could see donors turn their attention to other more pressing needs.

"It has become a desperate situation for both the wounded and our patients being treated for HIV/AIDS. With only a few [medical] supplies left, how do we decide who receives priority treatment?" Lilly Sanvee, director of St Joseph Catholic Hospital in Monrovia, said.

She added: "What do you do with an HIV-positive wounded civilian? Does that person get antiretrovirals as well as essential medical treatment?"

A recipient of the NEF PMTCT programme, the hospital has appealed to the NGO to make arrangements for the transport of everyday items like antiseptic creams and painkillers to the hospital.

"They are in such a hopelessly desperate situation, that if pledges are actually made for these medical supplies, the hospital has arranged for them to be moved via a contact in the Ivory Coast," Nduaka said.

He noted that NEF was struggling over whether to maintain the PMTCT programme or provide medical supplies for the causalities of the war.

However, the chief donor of NEF's programme has confirmed ongoing support for the PMTCT programme.

"It is easier for individuals to understand that which can be easily seen - the wounds of war. What is less visible are the long-term consequences. While more people will probably die from HIV infection than from the immediate impact of the war, it is still vital that a balance is maintained in caring for both victims," president of Global Strategies for HIV Prevention, Dr Arthur Ammann told PlusNews.


Recent LIBERIA Reports
Youth not putting HIV prevention lessons into practice,  27/Oct/05
Not enough HIV-testing kits to meet demand, government,  21/Jul/05
HIV help at back of queue in war-battered east,  22/Jun/05
No money to finance AIDS survey, no treatment outside Monrovia,  18/Apr/05
With peace in place, the battle against HIV/AIDS gains momentum,  9/Mar/05
Le portail d'informations générales de la Côte d’Ivoire
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
Youth against AIDS

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