16 new HIV cases surface in Ratodero

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LARKANA: Sixteen new HIV positive cases surfaced during screening in Ratodero area of Larkana district on Thursday, as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Adviser on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho visited the affected areas to monitor the scale of the outburst of the deadly virus.

The official number of HIV positive patients has reached 654 in Ratodero and its adjoining villages out of which 119 were adults and 535 children. Screening camps organised at Banguldero and Naundero also tested 267 people from general population, but fortunately, found none.

So far 22,286 people from general population have been screened out of which 654 have emerged with HIV positive.

Talking to reporters, Dr Mirza said that the outbreak of HIV in Larkana had not only shaken the country, but the entire world.

He said the root cause of large number of children infected with AIDS must be detected. Dr Zafar said that some of the causes were very common such as usage of same syringe, transfusion of contaminated blood, spread of infection in the hospitals, unsafe sex and so forth. He said when the parents of affected children were tested most of them were negative which means they were infected from other sources which need to be thoroughly probed.

He said the federal government, along with UNICEF, WHO, UNAID, Aga Khan Foundation, Aga Khan University Hospital and other organisations, were cooperating with the Sindh government in this connection and would continue to coordinate till root cause was detected.