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Haleem lashes out at Sindh govt over surge in HIV/AIDS cases


May 14, 2019

Expressing concern over the recent surge in HIV/AIDS cases, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Sindh leader Haleem Adil Sheikh said on Monday that instead of providing Roti, Kapra and Makan, the rulers of the province have given the people dread diseases.

Talking to the media at the Sindh Assembly, Sheikh claimed that at least 15,000 cases of HIV/AIDS have already been detected in the province, which is a very alarming situation.

Sharing the details of his visit to Ratodero, a constituency of the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) slain leaders and former prime ministers Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, he said that no basic health care facilities are present there.

“If proper screening is conducted there, many more undetected cases can be unearthed. The presently detected cases are just the tip of the iceberg,” claimed the PTI’s parliamentary party leader in the provincial assembly.

Describing the factors behind the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases, Sheikh said the government has handed over hospitals to NGOs on a contractual basis and, therefore, people visit substandard private medical centres and quacks.

He said Muzaffar Ghangharo, a local doctor who has been arrested for his involvement in using contaminated syringes on patients, is not the only one involved in the spreading of the disease.

“All the people piercing noses and ears and performing circumcision with contaminated instruments are also responsible for HIV-positive cases,” he said, adding that fake blood banks are also spreading diseases.

The PTI leader said the Ratodero hospital was closed this past Sunday despite being in a state of emergency. He asked why the Sindh government does not pass a law barring citizens from falling ill on Sundays.

He said the PPP rulers are responsible for the deaths of innocent people, adding that the rulers are hiding the real facts and figures of HIV/AIDS cases. He demanded AIDS screening at basic health unit level as well as opening an AIDS treatment centre in Ratodero.

He claimed that the provincial health department is involved in corruption of Rs22 billion. He said that with this sort of corruption, it is natural that diseases, including AIDS, are spread among the poor masses. He said the money amassed through corruption is being deposited in accounts of Falooda sellers.

Sheikh said Prime Minister Imran Khan has talked to Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, adding that the work regarding screening will be conducted. He said if it were in the power of the province’s rulers, they would have stopped the people from breathing without getting bribes.

He said the matters related to the Sindh Police Act are fishy. “We are not giving the minutes of the meeting. We will not disobey the court’s orders, but the government wants to do so.” The PTI leader said if the Sindh government wants to appoint officers like Rao Anwar, Ghulam Haider Jamali and Dr Farrukh, they will be opposed. “We do not want powers for a single person, who recruits his own henchmen.” He said the IGP is answerable to the provincial government, but the rulers are not authorised to recruit SSPs. “We want pro-people police to check crime.”

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