Mother of HIV infected child asks ministry for assistance in providing special diet
Stabroek News
September 23, 2002

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The mother of the five-year-old who contracted the HIV virus under unknown circumstances, is calling on the Ministry of Health to assist her financially so that she could provide her daughter with the right diet.

The ministry has already supplied drugs to treat the child's illness but Shondell Darell said that her daughter needed a proper diet which she could not give her since she was unemployed.

The child, Jasonie, was diagnosed with the virus in May of this year, and her mother strongly believes that she contracted HIV at her birth when she received a blood transfusion at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.

However, the ministry said that while the donor of the blood had died at a young age, the cause of death had not been determined, and as a result it could not concluded that the child had contracted the virus from the blood transfusion. However, the ministry agreed to supply drugs for the child which she started using some time last month.

Speaking to Stabroek News last week the woman said that since her daughter started taking the medicine she had became very weak and had developed a rash on her skin.

Darell said owing to the child's illness she was unable to work and had to depend on her family for assistance.

She felt that because of her illness Jasonie should be placed on a special diet and be eating "properly." Since she was unable to provide these things for her daughter she was appealing to the ministry for help.

Stabroek News contacted Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Doerga Persaud, and asked him if his ministry would be willing to give the woman any monetary assistance but he said he could not say anything on the issue "as yet." He said that they would have to be advised by the doctor who is treating Jasonie about whether she needed a special diet before the ministry would consider the issue.