Church-run HIV/AIDS centre struggling to maintain service

Located in one ofthe suburbs ofthe National Capital is a church run HIV and AIDS transit center. Few knew about its existence but not anymore. As more patients seek helpthere, resources are strained.

The centre called Ametu is situated at East Beroko in Port Moresby. It is a transit house for people outsidethe city who are carriers ofthe HIV virus.

Twelve families are now resident.

Apart from accommodation, ther services provided included meals, counseling and testing’s.

Sister Marlene said it is now becoming a struggle to maintainthese services.

The centre caters mainly for patients fromthe Central Province, Gulf and Goilala butthere has been an influx of residents from Port Moresby. Many are victims of discrimination.

Sister Marlene and her team of health workers saythey are still committed to giving a second chance in life to this marginalized group.

Non-governmental centres as such have contributed immensely tothe fight againstthe epidemic inthe country butthere is more to be done.

The National AIDS Council in 2011 reported thatthe new national HIV prevalence rate amongthe adult population of 15 to 49 years is estimated to be 0.8 percent.

Highlands region – withthe highest at 0.91 percentofollowed by Southern – 0.89 percent,then Momase region – with 0.64 percent and lastly New GuineaIslands with 0.56 percent.

Bernadette Efi, National EMTV News

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