On October 10, AHF Europe launched a newspaper advocacy campaign addressing Estonia’s Ministry of Social Affairs Deputy Secretary General of Health, Ivi Normet, regarding her interference with the ability of a new specialized clinic in the town of Narva, the Linda Clinic, to provide needed HIV/AIDS care
14/10/2013 — 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.
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.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Zoya Shabarova, Europe Bureau Chief
+1 323-217-2869 or +31 6 484 62 255
Anna Zakowicz, Europe advocacy manager
+1 323–810-6591 or +31 6 287 44 655
Sven Veltman, AHF Attorney in Estonia
+372 6801 681 or +372 56915 395
KEYWORDS: Europe Estonia
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Health AIDS Infectious Diseases Consumer Gay & Lesbian General Health