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62 children tested HIV positive in Larkana

Top Story

May 2, 2019

KARACHI: As many as 62 children were tested positive for HIV/AIDS in Larakana division along with 18 adults during a mass screening campaign launched by Sindh Health Department since last Wednesday, April 24, 2019, officials said.

"During the last 7 days, we have screened over 2,400 patients in Larkana division, where 62 children were tested positive for HIV/AIDS while 18 adults were also tested positive, " said Dr. Masood Solangi, Director General Health Sindh while talking to The News on Wednesday. He said they have established four camps in Larkana where everyone is being screened for HIV/AIDS and added they had also launched an awareness campaign in the Larkana division about the deadly infection. Since the HIV/AIDS infection could only be detected after four to six months of exposure to the virus, it was decided to continue screening of people, especially those in the high risk groups continuously in Larkana and adjoining cities to ascertain the extent of damage and spread caused of the dreaded viral infection. 

"We suspect quacks are spreading HIV/AIDS in Larkana and in entire Sindh and with the help and support of Sindh Healthcare Commission, we have sealed over two dozen establishments being run by quacks in Larakana," Solangi claimed.

International and national health authorities and organizations have become active to curtail the HIV/AIDS outbreak in Larkana division and other cities of the interior of Sindh after the AIDS / HIV outbreak was reported. Sindh health department officials said UNAIDS country director for Pakistan and Afghanistan Dr Maria Elena G Filio Borrmeo rushed to Karachi and held meetings with Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Health Minister Dr. Azra Pechuho and Secretary Saeed Awan and offered UN support in dealing with the deadly outbreak of the HIV/AIDS .

Officials of Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority also visited blood banks of various public and private hospitals to ascertain if they are following the protocols for safe blood transfusion as experts suspect unscreened blood along with reused infected syringes is the major source of HIV transmission to the children and general public.

Director General Health Sindh Dr. Masood Solangi said he has formed a nine-member committee comprising health officials and health education officers to immediately visit Larkana and start an awareness and advocacy campaign so the people could be prevented from contracting the disease. The Programme Manager of the HIV/AIDS Control Program Sindh Dr. Sikandar Memon along with his team was also directed to remain in Larkana until the root cause of the lethal viral infection is ascertained. Memon is supervising screening and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

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