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April 26, 2019

13 minors tested HIV positive in Larkana


April 26, 2019

KARACHI: Deteriorating health situation emerged in the constituency of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari where 13 children have been tested positive for Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV).

All cases were detected in Larkana’s small town of Ratodero only in April when doctors suggested the HIV tests of 16 minor children age between four months to eight years, who despite treatment and medicines, had not been getting well since the last four weeks. There are 10 health programmes including Aids-Control in Sindh province under the Sindh Health Department but the performance of majority of these programmes remain under question.

In-charge of the Sindh Aids Control Programme Dr Sikander Memon has said that quacks and unnecessary injections, drips were the main cause of the issue. Dr Memon further informed that tests for the HIV positive children and their parents would be retaken immediately.

“Often these laboratories use kits from China which give false results. To verify these results, we will use the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended kits. If there is an issue, we will know about it today or tomorrow,” Dr Memon added.

Replying to a question, Dr Memon said that according to an estimate, there were over 100,000 HIV positive people in the whole country with 85,000 only in Sindh province, however, the Aids Control Programme has only 10,350 registered patients who are provided treatment.

There are 239 registered HIV patients, Dr Memon said. “There isn’t shortage of medicine, we are providing medicines to all registered patients and under the programme some specific groups male, female and transgender sex workers are given preference not general public," Dr Memon said.

According to the official figure, Larkana district continues to top the list among the most affected HIV in Sindh with the number of AIDS patients in Larkana rising to more than 2,500. Dr Abdul Hafeez of People’s Primary Healthcare Initiative (PPHI) said there were need of mass screening in Larkana district, specially in Ratodero, then the exact number of patients can be accessed. On the other hand, a five-member team of Sindh Aids-Control programme visited the area and suggested to shift the affected children to Karachi for further tests and treatment.

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