DADELDHURA, Nov 12: It was already over a year since Suntali Bohara of Atilal VDC-1 began suffering from leucorrhea. Despite the disease becoming worse, she was not able to tell her problem to health workers in the nearby Health Post due to the shyness and socio-cultural taboos related to sexuality.
It was only when she attended a health camp organized to test HIV and Venereal Diseases (VD)in her village on Tuesday that she came to know that she has been suffering from Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).
Suntali is only a representative figure of the typical Nepali women who prefer to suffer than share about sexual infections with the doctors. After the check-up in the health camp Suntali has started taking medicine. The mobile HIV and VD training and consultation health camps in the district have drawn women STD patient in large numbers.
Like Suntali, 2,636 women who came to the health camp have begun treatment of the STD after many years. “Women can not express their health problems before everyone. Most of them are not even aware that they are suffering from STD. Many village women are suffering from the dieses,” said Birendra Bahadur Air, a HIV and STD consultant at Multipurpose Development Society (MDS). “Women are ready to talk about their disease only after providing psychological counseling,” he added.
Under the Integrated HIV Program of Global Fund Family Health International -Nepal, MDS has been organizing mobile health check-up camps in the villages for four years to find HIV and STD patients and provide them proper advice for the treatment. In the last 3 years, MDS has tested over 4 thousand blood samples of the people from Inner Tarai district with 71 samples testing HIV positive.
“We are reaching villages to conduct health camps to find the HIV and STD infected people,” Integrated HIV Program coordinator Durga Chataut said. “We have established a voluntary testing center (VTC) in this district and two Incarnation Children´s Center (ICC) in the village for the for HIV-infected children”, he added. According to the MSD, 37 male and 34 female has been tasted HIV positive so far.
According to Chataut, people are become more open in the recent year in sharing information and problems of sex-related diseases. He also informed that they have been making room for the HIV affected people to live at ease through the health camps and counseling.
The program has provided sex related education to over 31,381 people and counseling to 3,698 so far. Similarly, 3,422 blood samples were tested for HIV conformation and 3,422 people were treated for the STD. As per the statistic in the district 109 people have been tested HIV positive so far.