Police apprehend doctor as nearly 500 Pakistani children get HIV

Police apprehend doctor as nearly 500 Pakistani children get HIV

494 children and 113 adults have been infected with HIV in the district of Larkana in Pakistan's Sindh province.

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According to experts, negligent medical practices are likely to be the source of the HIV outbreak, Tech Times reports.

The BBC reports that rumours of an outbreak of HIV sent families rushing to a special camp set up at the town's government hospital by the health department of Sindh province, after which more than 607 people - 75% of whom were children - were diagnosed with the virus.

Briefly.co.za notes that Dr Fatima Mir, who works for the Aga Khan University Hospital and specialises in Aids treatment among children, said: "There are three ways a child may be infected. It's either through a lactating mother who carries the virus, through blood transfusion, or through an infected surgical instrument or a syringe."

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According to health authorities, about 500 unregulated clinics have been ordered closed across the province.

A mother, whose three-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with HIV, said: "Medicines for grown-ups are usually available [from health authorities] in Larkana, but for the child's medicines we have to go to Karachi, which means we spend several thousand rupees on each trip.

"My husband is only a day-labourer, so we won't be able to afford this for long."

A local child specialist identified as Dr Muzaffar Ghangharo has been arrested by the police on charges of spreading the virus through syringes.

The doctor, who was accused of reusing syringes at his clinic, tested positive for HIV as well.

Ghangharo has denied the charges against him, saying none of the infected people were his patients.

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Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za previously reported that the National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) on Thursday, March 14, disclosed that the south-south region of Nigeria had the prevalent record of people living with the HIV.

The director general of NACA, Dr Sani Aliyu, made this disclosure during an event officially unveiling the agency's statistics of people living with the disease to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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