WHO probes HIV outbreak in Pakistan's Sindh province
The team, which arrived in the country on Tuesday at the request of the Pakistani government, will also provide its expertise in areas of HIV testing, pediatric HIV treatment and family counselling, reports Xinhua
Karachi: In the wake of the recent HIV outbreak in the Sindh Province of Pakistan, with nearly 700 cases registered thus far, an international team of experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has initiated a probe to ascertain the source of the outbreak. The team, which arrived in the country on Tuesday at the request of the Pakistani government, will also provide its expertise in areas of HIV testing, pediatric HIV treatment and family counselling, reports Xinhua.
At the start of one of the biggest outbreak investigations of HIV in children. @OWMorgan is leading. FELTP Pakistan is playing a major role. I will also be joining the field team on the instructions of Federal Minister of Health @zfrmrza and WR Pakistan #pakistan #HIV #outbreak pic.twitter.com/MXLBZPh6dz— Dr. Rana Jawad Asghar (@jasghar) May 30, 2019
They're coming by dozens': HIV outbreak sparks panic in Pakistan's province sindh— Umer Hayyat Chughtai (@umerchughtai50) May 29, 2019
More than 400 people, mostly children, tested HIV-positive due to unsanitary equipment and hospital malpractices.#AidsFreeSindh pic.twitter.com/IcRa4DGw7u
A Pakistani doctor screens a child for HIV at a hospital in a village near Ratodero, a small town in southern province of Sindh in Pakistan where the outbreak of deadly disease took place last month, Thursday, May 16, 2019.(AP)#AidsFreeSindh pic.twitter.com/ImfxnASKxz— Mohammad Rehman ðµð° (@MRehmanKhan777) May 29, 2019
The outbreak has stirred panic among residents of the area. Dr Masood Solangi, Director General Health Sindh, said that nearly 700 people have been diagnosed with HIV in the city of Ratodero, after the screening of around 2500 people in the past few weeks. Among them, 576 are children aged from neonatal to five years old.
HIV outbreak demonstrated "public health failure in Sindh, though the health sector elsewhere in Pakistan also faces critical challenges stemming from a lack of funding and priority.#AidsFreeSindh pic.twitter.com/iHW7Pl9haL— Umer Hayyat Chughtai (@umerchughtai50) May 29, 2019
HIV Outbreak In Pakistan: So Far, 494 Children Are #HIV Positive.— Ahmed Naveed (@AhmedNaveed1122) May 29, 2019
Pediatrician suspected of spreading the infection due to use of "contaminated syringes, unscreened blood transfusions and reuse of dextrose and saline drips."
cc: @MicrobesInfect#AidsFreeSindh pic.twitter.com/GEFpotV6OW
"The team will work closely with the ministry of health and partners, including the Aga Khan University, Pakistan's Field Epidemiology & Laboratory Training Programme, UNAIDS and Unicef in Larkana," Dawn quoted a WHO spokesperson as saying. Earlier this week, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza had said that the recent spread of HIV among children was either caused by unsafe injections or for a reason unable to be determined so far. Following the outbreak, the local authorities have arrested 17 quack doctors and shuttered 70 clinics in the Larkana city of the province.
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