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519 tested HIV-positive in Pak's Sindh province

Press Trust of India  |  Karachi 

As many as 519 people, most of whom were children, have been tested HIV-positive in the last two weeks in Pakistan's province, with officials attributing the cause to the use of unsanitary equipment, unsafe transfusion and rampant malpractice -- often at the hands of quack doctors.

According to a UN report, now has the second-fastest growing rate of in Asia, with about 20,000 new in 2017 alone.

On Wednesday, 39 cases of were detected during screening of people in district, taken the positive cases to over 500 in the last 17 days, officials said.

As many as 23 children and five women were tested HIV-positive in the latest screenings carried out in Ratodero town, where the highest number of such cases have been detected in the district.

Last month, provincial authorities were alarmed when the number of HIV-positive cases rose to 39, which included over a dozen children.

According to an inquiry by the health authorities, most of the infected children had visited a private clinic of a local paediatrician named Dr Muzaffar Ghangar, who himself is an patient, in Ratodero for other ailments.

Ghangar, who is also employed at a public hospital in Ratodero, is accused of infecting more than 50 patients, mostly children, by repeated use of single contaminated

The doctor has been arrested and is currently under police custody.

Dr said more screening camps are being set up in the district to speed up the process of detecting HIV positive cases.

Dr said majority of those tested HIV positive were children and the reason for this was apparently a surge in rates across country due to the use of unsanitary equipment, unsafe transfusion and rampant malpractice often at the hands of quack doctors.

According to UNAIDS, around 600,000 quack doctors are operating across and around 270,000 are practicing in the Sindh province.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 16 2019. 22:31 IST
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