Man Murders HIV Positive Wife in Sindh

Pakistan Seeks Help From WHO To Probe HIV Outbreak Report

"Led-by Oliver Morgan, Director of Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment, in the Health Emergencies Programme of WHO, a 12-member global team comprising experts from CDC Atlanta, Georgia, Unicef and Unaids is landing today in Karachi to investigate the root cause of the latest HIV outbreak in Ratodero area of Larkana", an official of the WHO told The News worldwide.

WHO will be helping the Sindh Health Department to find the root cause of the outbreak through a geographical mapping process and to provide the HIV treatment kits for the affected children.

KARACHI-Sindh Minister of Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Pechuho held an important meeting in Karachi where she met the WHO delegation.

The outbreak was first reported on April 25, and a major HIV screening programme started on April 28. It was expanded on May 8, with additional health workers being deployed.

Till now 681 HIV positive cases have been identified among the 21,375 tested in Ratodero town of Larkana district in the north-west part of the province.

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Health officials say almost 700 people, many of them children, have tested positive in recent weeks as experts warn of a surge in infection rates across Pakistan due to the use of unsanitary equipment and rampant malpractice - often at the hands of quack doctors. "This poses a particular challenge", said the press release.

Technical expertise will be provided in the areas of HIV testing, pediatric HIV treatment and family counseling and ensuring adequate supplies of rapid diagnostic tests and antiretroviral medicines for both adults and children, as well as single-use needles and syringes.

Currently, four hospitals in Larkana are treating HIV patients while several HIV screening camps have been set up across the district.

Special assistant to prime minister for national health services Dr Zafar Mirza had written a letter to the WHO, requesting it to send a team of experts to Pakistan immediately to visit the areas reporting about HIV frequently.

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