Estonia’s Ivi Normet Blocking Access to HIV Meds

In Estonia, Global by AHF

Tallinn Press Conf. Oct. 16

On October 10, AHF Europe launched an awareness 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

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B-Roll or Visual for Media: AHF’s Public 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.”

As a result, AHF felt that it was important to bring this matter to the public’s attention through notices in newspapers, bus stops, and other public venues. AHF began these efforts to make the public aware during the first week of October, efforts which included a notice about the issue published in the Eesti Ekspress to alert the public of Normet’s actions. AHF and its partners is supporting 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.

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