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More than 500 tested HIV-positive in Pakistan's Sindh province

According to an inquiry by the health authorities, most of the infected children had visited a private clinic of a local paediatrician named Dr Muzaffar Ghangar in Ratodero for other ailments.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: May 17, 2019 8:43 IST
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Image Source : AP

Representational

In Pakistan's Sindh province, as many as 519 people have been tested HIV-positive in the last two weeks. Most of them are children.

Health officials have attributed the cause to the use of unsanitary equipment, unsafe blood transfusion and rampant malpractice -- often at the hands of quack doctors.

Here’s what we know so far:

  1. In Asia, according to a UN report, Pakistan now has the second-fastest growing rate of HIV.

  2. In 2017 alone, Pakistan witnessed about 20,000 new infections.

  3. On Wednesday, 39 cases of HIV were detected during screening of people in Larkana district. As many as 23 children and five women have tested HIV-positive in the latest screenings carried out in Ratodero town, where the highest number of such cases have been detected in the district.

  4. According to an inquiry by the health authorities, most of the infected children had visited a private clinic of a local paediatrician named Dr Muzaffar Ghangar in Ratodero for other ailments.

  5. Dr Muzaffar Ghangar himself is an AIDS patient.

  6. He is accused of infecting more than 50 patients, mostly children, by repeated use of a single contaminated syringe. 

  7. The doctor has been arrested and is currently under police custody. 

  8. Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho said more blood screening camps are being set up in the district to speed up the process of detecting HIV positive cases.

  9. Sindh health secretary Dr Saeed Ahmed Awan said the majority of those tested HIV positive were children and the reason for this was apparently a surge in infection rates across the country due to the use of unsanitary equipment, unsafe blood transfusion and rampant malpractice — often at the hands of quack doctors.

  10. Nearly 600,000 quack doctors are operating across Pakistan and around 270,000 are practicing in the Sindh province, said a report of UNAIDS.

(With PTI inputs)

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