THATTA: Amid outcry over alarming reports of spread of HIV in Sindh, five new cases have surfaced in Thatta in the wake of blood screening exercise, say official sources.
Focal person of HIV/AIDS Control Programme in Thatta Dr Umme Farwa told Dawn on Monday that so far two female and three male patients, including the one who reported that day and were found to be infected with HIV, had been referred to a Karachi hospital for further confirmation of the disease.
She said that out of them, one later tested negative in Karachi, two of them did not bother to travel to Karachi for reasons best known to them and the one who did visit Karachi’s Civil Hospital rushed back to his village near Thatta without seeking medical help.
She said that when she contacted the patient and asked about his abrupt return he replied that he got scared on being informed about the procedure of the treatment and decided not to get treated there.
Dr Farwa suggested that as a majority of population in the tail-end district lived below poverty line, the patient in question and many others like him could not afford travel expenses to Karachi. She, therefore, appealed to stakeholders to provide the treatment facility to HIV patients near their home in the district instead of sending them to Karachi.
Thatta District Health Officer Dr Haneef Memon rejected reports of surfacing of five HIV cases in the district and insisted that only one HIV positive case had been reported and registered here. The patient was now under treatment in Karachi, he said.
52 more test HIV positive in Ratodero
LARKANA: As many as 52 more people, 44 among them children, were found HIV positive out of 1,984 people who reported at a blood screening camp in Ratodero taluka hospital on Monday.
Dr Sikandar Memon, project manager of Sindh HIV/AIDS Control Program, told Dawn that the screening exercise continued for the 15th day. Of the total, eight were female and 44 children (24 boys and 20 girls), he said.
Sindh Minister for Health Dr Azra Pechuho would chair a meeting at commissioner’s office on Tuesday to take stock of the situation in Ratodero, which fell within the constituency of Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his aunt Faryal Talpur.
Meanwhile, the doctor who was accused of spreading the deadly virus in Ratodero turned out to be HIV positive himself after his blood test, according to SHO Sartaj Jagirani.
Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2019