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May 14, 2019

Officials seize over 50,000 reused syringes from quack


May 14, 2019

KARACHI: The anti-quackery officials on Monday claimed to have confiscated over 50,000 reused syringes from a healthcare establishment being run by a quack in Mirpurkhas which were to be disbursed among drug users. They also claimed to have sealed 110 more clinics and establishments being run by the quacks in Larkana and Mirpurkhas divisions.

“Today a team of officials from the Anti-Quackery Directorate of Sindh Health Care Commission raided a healthcare establishment and confiscated six sacks of reused syringes, which contained approximately 50,000 syringes. The owner of the establishment, Zulfiqar confessed that he is a supplier of these syringes to drug users and further investigation is underway”, said Dr. Ayaz Mustafa, Director Anti Quackery of Sindh Health Care Commission while talking to The News on Monday.

As many as 445 people including 356 children were found infected with HIV in Ratodero area of Larkana since April 25, 2019 as 52 more people were found infected with the lethal viral disease, believed to be spread by quacks, who are in habit of sharing needles and syringes and administering medicines to multiple patients with single syringe.

He said “we lodged an FIR against this person and he was sent to jail. We have requested the police to investigate him thoroughly as he could be one of the main characters behind spreading HIV and other lethal viral diseases in the province”, Mustafa said.

Meanwhile, Sindh Health Care Commission officials said they have sealed 110 centers being run by quacks in Larkana and Mirpurkhas divisions, adding so far 460 healthcare establishments were closed down during last two weeks.

According to Mustafa, the estimated number of quacks operating in the province was over 100,000 including thousands operating in Karachi but added due to political will shown by the present government, they were getting quack clinics sealed. He was hopeful that once quacks realize that they could no longer operate freely in the province, they would abandon the profession. It is worth mentioning here that Sindh Health Secretary Saeed Awan has already called for sending quacks behind bars for rest of their lives.

Dr. Ayaz Mustafa said they have asked the authorities to ensure that healthcare providers at the government-run hospitals are available so the people could visit these facilities instead of approaching quacks. “We have recommended the government to screen all the staff of healthcare establishments in the province for HIV, Hepatitis B and C and other infectious diseases after one of the doctors was found infected with HIV in Larkana, who was aslo allegedly involved in unsafe medical practices using one syringe and IV drip for multiple times,” said Dr Mustafa.

Dr. Mustafa maintained that majority of the clinics and healthcare establishments being run by the quacks in the province are in the name of registered medical practitioners, who are mostly government employees but have rented out their clinics or even their documents to the quacks. In some cases, Dr. Mustafa said, even the registered medical practitioners came to the rescue of the quacks and fight with the Sindh Health Care Commission Staff, saying quacks are paramedical staff who are giving the medication on their directives.

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