NARVA, Estonia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After years of joint non-governmental organization efforts by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) and Eesti HIV-positiivsete Vorgustik, or the Estonian Network of People Living with HIV (EHPV), the Linda Clinic – a greatly needed specialized HIV treatment resource – opened its doors in June 2013 in the town of Narva.
TALLINN PRESS CONFERENCE: AIDS Groups AHF, EHPV to Ask Why Estonian Ministry Reneges on HIV Medication Commitment for Narva’s Linda Clinic
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 Time: 13:00-14:00
Nordic Hotel Tallinn, Room: Altair, Viru Square 3, 10111 Tallinn, Estonia
• Zoya Shabarova, Chief of Europe Bureau; AIDS Healthcare Foundation
• Sven Veltman, AHF Attorney in Estonia
• A patient from AHF's Linda Clinic in Narva who is the mother of two children, will speak
B-Roll or Visual for Media: AHF’s Advocacy Notice targeting Ivi Normet, Estonia’s Ministry of Social Affairs Deputy Secretary General of Health, which ran in the Eesti Ekspress and was placed as an advocacy notice in transit bus shelters in Estonia.
The Narva clinic met all legal requirements necessary to become a licensed healthcare facility, and on October 18, 2012, a declaration from previous Minister of Social Affairs Hanno Pevkur approved the government’s provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications for the clinic once it was fully operational. However, on July 9, 2013, Ivi Normet, Estonia’s Ministry of Social Affairs Deputy Secretary General of Health, denied a formal request by the Linda Clinic for ART. Later discussions with the Ministry have had no favorable outcome regarding the provision of medications. As a result, the Ministry’s decision is thereby denying access to lifesaving treatment for people living with HIV in Narva, AHF says.
“We find it shocking that one person in an administrative position can negate our operations,” said AHF Europe Bureau Chief Zoya Shabarova. “Such actions on the Ministry's part are neither understandable nor acceptable to AHF.”
AHF launched a social media campaign in the first week of October and is running a newspaper advocacy campaign with a public service notice published in the Eesti Ekspress to alert the public of Normet’s actions. AHF and its partners supported that whistleblowing with a public petition demanding the Secretary General overturn her decision. As of October 11, the petition had been signed by 248 individuals who support AHF and EHPV in their efforts to attain medication for clients of the Linda clinic.
“We believe that Deputy Secretary Normet’s position as a public servant makes it perfectly legitimate to target her actions publicly,” said AHF Associate Director of Global Policy Denys Nazarov.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to over 230,000 individuals in 31 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @AIDSHealthcare.