The local officials are blaming a rogue paediatrician for the spread of HIV among people in southern Pakistan. More than five hundred people have been tested positive for HIV.
The sudden outbreak of HIV in the district outside Larkana led to the screening of around 14,000 individuals. Out of those who were tested positive, 410 were children as reported by Dr Memon.
29 other patients were also tested positive when a blood screening was conducted recently at the hospital in Rato Dero, located outside Larkana. It is considered the centre of the epidemic.
Reason for the Widespread HIV Contamination
A doctor is reportedly alleged of spreading the infection among his patients. The use of a contaminated syringe led to the spread. He is in the custody since the time the outbreak was reported. Dr Muzaffar Ghangharo denies all the allegations and is also living with HIV himself.
The authorities are still considering the possibility that the outbreak could be the result of widespread and gross negligence. It could be a high prevalence of shady medical practices. UN Aids reported that international partner organisations have become a part of the local team and are trying to investigate and contain the outbreak.
A statement was made which said that around 600,000 unqualified doctors are operating unlawfully in Pakistan. Out of these, 270,000 are operating in Sindh province where Larkana is located. The HIV outbreak has brought attention towards the lack of education and awareness about the disease. Parents are demanding to screen off their children and treatment of those tested positive.
Dr Borromeo reported that two-month-old children are also affected. These children would have to deal with the consequences for the remaining part of their lives. The UN’s Global Fund will only provide antiretroviral therapy until December 2020 in Pakistan. After that, the government will be left to deal with it themselves.
Source: Daily Mail, Independent.co