In the wake of the recent HIV outbreak in the Sindh Province of Pakistan, with nearly 700 cases registered thus far, an international team of experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has initiated a probe to ascertain the source of the outbreak.
The team, which arrived in the country on Tuesday at the request of the Pakistani government, will also provide its expertise in areas of HIV testing, paediatric HIV treatment and family counselling, reports Xinhua.
The outbreak has stirred panic among residents of the area. Dr Masood Solangi, Director General Health Sindh, said that nearly 700 people have been diagnosed with HIV in the city of Ratodero, after the screening of around 2500 people in the past few weeks. Among them, 576 are children aged from neonatal to five years old.
"The team will work closely with the ministry of health and partners, including the Aga Khan University, Pakistan's Field Epidemiology & Laboratory Training Programme, UNAIDS and Unicef in Larkana," Dawn quoted a WHO spokesperson as saying.
Earlier this week, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar
Mirza had said that the recent spread of HIV among children was either caused by unsafe injections or for a reason unable to be determined so far.
Following the outbreak, the local authorities have arrested 17 quack doctors and shuttered 70 clinics in the Larkana city of the province.
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