Manila to convert hospital into HIV treatment hub
The Manila government has announced plans to convert one of the city’s public hospitals into an “HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) treatment hub” due to the growing number of cases in the country.
Mayor Joseph Estrada said on Thursday that the conversion of Sta. Ana Hospital was the city’s “modest contribution” to help curb the spread of HIV which, if left untreated, could lead to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome).
Based on the HIV/AIDS registry of the Department of Health (DOH), there were 841 new HIV cases reported nationwide for the month of June.
Of the total, 103 developed into full-blown AIDS, the highest figure ever recorded in a single month since 1984 when HIV was first detected in the Philippines.
“We need to give all our efforts in addressing this problem in our society. This sickness does not discriminate against people…old people, children, men, women, whichever the status in life, there are those who are affected by this,” Estrada said.
According to Dr. Jesus Sison Jr., Sta. Ana Hospital director, their facility which is classified as Level 2 has complied with the basic DOH requirements.
These include “a laboratory for treatment and analysis of HIV-infected blood, trained personnel for counseling of patients, and obstetricians and surgeons to operate on patients with HIV, as well as highly trained nurses, and upgrading and procurement of facilities.”
“We expect DOH to approve our accreditation as an HIV treatment center by January. We just have to submit some other documentary requirements,” Sison said, noting that DOH representatives had already conducted their inspection of the hospital early this month.
Medical personnel tasked to handle HIV cases have also completed their training in partnership with the DOH.
According to Sison, the 500-bed, 10-story hospital, one of the six public hospitals in Manila that recently underwent a P500-million renovation, will service both residents and nonresidents.
“Let us help each other in addressing this,” Estrada said, adding that the increasing number of individuals getting infected by HIV was now a “major public health issue among local government units.”
Last month, he announced that the city government was offering HIV testing and treatment. Qualified residents can avail of the free services at the Manila Social Hygiene Clinic in Sta. Cruz.
In November, the DOH recorded 758 new HIV cases, of which more than half were between 25 and 34 years old. Metro Manila had the highest number of cases with 301 cases or 40 percent. Next was Calabarzon with 108 cases (14 percent), Central Luzon (73 cases, 10 percent) and Central Visayas (72 cases, 10 percent).
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