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Cebu City Health Department needs more funds to treat HIV patients

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio November 24,2019 - 02:40 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Health Department needs more funding to treat patients positive of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as their grants from non-government organizations (NGOs) are about to end.

This was the pronouncement of City Health Officer, Daisy Villa, following the rise of HIV cases in the country.

Villa told CDN Digital in a phone interview that the cases of HIV in Cebu City in 2020 are at 3,898, which is cumulative of the past 10 years.

At least new two or three cases are recorded per week as the City Health intensifies its awareness campaigns in the barangays and urge the public to get tested.

The city has the highest number of cases, comprising of more than 50 percent of the total number of cases in the entire province of Cebu, which is at 5,982 cases.

Villa said the big population of Cebu City, the intensified awareness campaigns, and the engagement of the public to have themselves tested contributed to the rise of HIV cases in the city.

She said the city had always provided help and treatment to HIV patients who could not afford their treatment and maintenance medicine through the NGOs, however, their grants would be ending by 2020.

With the many cases of HIV in Cebu City particularly ages 15 to 25 years old, Villa said the City Health would need more funds to help cover the cost of maintenance medicine and regular laboratory fees for the patient’s monitoring.

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“Mo end na hapit atong grants from NGOs. Maglisod natag hatag og tambal sa mga pasyente nya naa pay mga laboratories. Unta makatabang ang City Council,” said Villa.

(Our programs and grants from the NGOs will be ending. We will have difficulty giving medicine and laboratory services to the patients. We hope the City Council can help.)

Villa said they had been called to the City Council for the Citizen’s Hour to talk about their HIV programs and she would use this time to ask help from the council to get more funds.

Aside from treatment, City Health is also doing an awareness campaign to prevent the spread of HIV going from one barangay to another to encourage the youth and adults to avoid risky behavior and unprotected sexual intercourse.

She also encouraged the public to have themselves tested at the City Health so they could find out early on if they had HIV and avail of treatment before the virus would get worse. /dbs

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TAGS: Cebu City Health Department, Daisy Villa, HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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