Regional UNAIDS officials briefed Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail that unsafe injection practices and poor infection control had emerged as the leading cause of the recent HIV outbreak in Ratodero area of Larkana, saying UNAIDS was ready to extend all possible support to the Pakistani health authorities in managing the situation and to prevent such outbreaks in other parts of the country in future.
“Unsafe injection practices including reuse of syringes and IV drips, both by the doctors as well as quacks in addition to poor infection control have emerged as the leading causes of HIV outbreak in Ratodero area of Larkana”, said Eamonn Murphy, Regional Director of UNAIDS for Asia Pacific while talking to Sindh Governor Imran Ismail at Governor’s House Karachi.
The UNAIDS delegation that called on Sindh Governor was comprised of Eamonn Murphy, Dr. Maria Elena G Filio Borromeo, UNAIDS Country Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan and Federal Advisor of National Health Services, Regulation and Control Dr. Zafar Mirza.
The visiting UNAIDS apprised the provincial Governor about findings and recommendations of a joint mission of World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), United States and other international UN bodies which had been invited by the Pakistan government to probe into the recent HIV outbreak in Ratodero area of Larkana and suggest a way to the local authorities.
Dr. Eamonn Francis Murphy appreciated the efforts made by the federal and provincial governments in this regard, saying another team would be soon visiting the province to assist the authorities in rehabilitation of the affected people.
Talking to the visiting UNAIDS delegation, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said that outbreak of HIV in Sindh was condemnable and awareness campaigns were needed in this regard so the patients diagnosed with the said disease could lead normal healthy life.
Governor Sindh maintained that if diagnosed at initial stage, affected patient could be treated and made useful citizens, and assured the visiting delegation that federal government would extend complete cooperation to the UNAIDS in its efforts against HIV.
State Minister for National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza said that the Prime Minister Imran Khan had specially directed to ensure complete treatment of HIV affected people and children.