An unknown fear has gripped the 5000 residents of the Bengarmau, Prem Ganj locality Of Unnao. This small town of Uttar Pradesh came under the radar of the health department after it registered 38 positive cases of HIV at screening camps in pat three months. The people are terrified by the rising number of HIV cases in town and are hence reluctant to even get tested for the same.
Relief is provided to the patients with free treatment at Kanpur ART center, 50kms away from the town. The increasing number has raised concerns among the health departments, as not just Bengarmau, but also nearby villages Chakmeera and Kidmiyapur are also affected by this debilitating disease.
The main suspect for the spread of this disease is quack Rajendra Yadav, now arrested, who would run his clinic from the corridor of an old Sanskrit school on the Station Road and is said to have infected many from the locality with infected syringes, was Dr ‘Fixit’ for the people. As per Deepu, a local youth, patients would make a beeline before his clinic before he would open it at 9 am. Till the time he would call it a day around 11 pm, he would have seen more than 150 patients.
“People from adjoining areas would also throng his dispensary. He used to charge Rs 10 for three doses of medicine and an injection shot. He would carry a ‘jhola’ in which he usually kept his medical kit, including used syringes, which he would wash from the hand-pump water,” Deepu says
Prem Ganj came under the radar of health officials in November last when 13 people from the locality tested HIV positive at a camp held by UP State Aids Control Society. At three repeat camps in the last week of January, 25 more cases popped up. “Nearly 270 people from Prem Ganj had got themselves examined at the camps out of which 25 tested positive. Now, people are scared and are not willing to get themselves tested,” says Sunil Kumar, a local.
Such is the result of lack of awareness, had the people been aware of the consequences of unhygienic treatments such grave results would not have followed! In order to avoid further such incidents, proper awareness must be spread in the villages and town areas.