HIV cases

May 15, 2019


THIS is apropos your editorial ‘HIV in Larkana’ (May 4) and a controversial letter ‘Unsafe drinking water’ (May 2), suggesting that bottle water in Islamabad spreads hepatitis C. This is wrong information.

Hepatitis C virus spreads like HIV virus, mostly by intravenous and sexual route and this includes dirty syringes, drug misuse and infected blood products Less reported was a recent outbreak of multidrug resistant typhoid in Hyderabad causing alarm in the World Health Organisation. There is an ongoing work on a conjugate vaccine in WHO units for this.

However, misuse of antibiotics in the farming sector, animals, chickens and humans may be contributory factors. Regulation on antibiotic prescription and education on personal hygiene may help.

Recently a little girl, Nashwa, passed away because of reported medical negligence. Her death is tragic and everyone’s heart goes out to her parents. It is alleged that this may be case of wrong injection — a possible potassium chloride injection. It should be highlighted that the UK patient safety agency issued a patient safety alert in 2002, stating that research in the UK and elsewhere has identified a risk to patients from errors occurring during intravenous administration of potassium solutions.

Potassium chloride concentrate solution can be fatal if given inappropriately. This alert sets out strategy and action in hospital, ward and pharmacy road maps to deal with this problem.

Has any of our health department team, medical colleges/allied health universities and health providers read documents/reports which have been in circulation since 1993. Whether or not concentrated potassium chloride standard operating procedures have been changed in all hospitals, medical colleges and pharmacies in Pakistan remains contentious.

In the UK, we teach drug errors to medical students from medical year two. In hospitals and medical schools, patient risks and safeguards are updated regularly.

It is important to reflect on recent incidences, including HIV and typhoid outbreak and endemic Hepatitis C cases. These are public health issues and there should be a professionally-led independent health protection agency. We should also look at farming and meat industry for misuse of antibiotics and hormones.

Dr Manzoor H. Mangi

NHS England Consultant

United Kingdom


IT was horrifying to read the news about an outbreak of HIV in Turbat, my hometown. Over 300 people were confirmed to be HIV positive cases. Of them, 250 hailed from Kech, 31 from Lasbela, 27 from Gwadar and one each from Awaran and Panjgur.

Till last month, 107 patients were under treatment at the Kech HIV Treatment Centre, according to the report.

According to Mayo Clinic, the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause disease.

HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.

There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are medications that can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. These drugs have reduced AIDS deaths in many developed nations.

Most people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within a month or two after the virus enters the body. This illness, known as primary or acute HIV infection, may last for a few weeks.

Since last month, HIV has been making headlines in Sindh as well. I hope government authorities will run awareness drives and help people understand the dangers of HIV/AIDS.

Imtiaz MB


Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2019