Thursday February 22, 2024

500 HIV-positive transgender persons given ration packs worth Rs2.5m

March 25, 2023

KARACHI: Ration packs worth 2.5 million were districted among HIV-positive transgender persons in Karachi by the Communicable Disease Control (CDC) (HIV/AIDS) Sindh to support them in the month of Ramzan.

We have distributed ration packs among 500 transgender people in Karachi to support them in the holy month of Ramazan. All of those who got the rations are HIV positive and getting treatment from ART centres in Karachi,” said newly appointed CDC (HIV/AIDS) Sindh Additional Director Dr Muhammad Naeem as he spoke to The News.

He also urged the philanthropists to support the transgender community bearing the brunt of the economic crisis in the country.He said the ceremony to hand ration packs over to ailing transgender persons was held at the EPI Hall in Karachi where Sindh Director General Health Dr Jumman Bahoto distributed the ration packs.

Speaking on the occasion, Shahzadi Rai, representative of the transgender community and office-bearer of the Gender Interactive Alliance (GIA), lauded the Sindh government for providing financial support to HIV-positive transgender persons in Karachi. The activist, however, complained that most basic needs of the transgender community and HIV testing kits were not available for them.

“We appreciate the Sindh health department for their support and allocating Rs2.5 million for the support of HIV-positive transgender people in Karachi but we also need basic services, for which Global Fund provides funds to the federal and provincial authorities, which include testing kits,” she remarked.

She said the community was perturbed over replacement of former additional director CDC for HIV and AIDS Dr Ershad Kazmi who was extremely supportive to the transgender community and striving hard to prevent the HIV spread in the province.

Rai said that after Dr Kazmi left, the quality of services provided by the CDC (HIV/AIDS) started deteriorating.“We are keeping a close eye and are in contact with provincial high-ups as well as leaders of the Pakistan Peoples Party. If situation does not improve within a few days, we reserve the right to use all the measures at our disposal to highlight the issues being faced by the transgender community,” she added.

Dr Bahoto said he would personally monitor the services for the transgender community in Sindh and asked their representatives to approach him without any hesitation for redress of their grievances.