Between 450 and 500 people were tested for AIDS and HIV in Larkana’s Ratodero after 13 children below the age of eight tested positive for HIV in the area last week.
A blood screening camp was set up by the Sindh Aids Control Programme and provincial health department at the Ratodero Hospital. The camp has now ended and officials are cracking down against unregistered laboratories and fake doctors aided in the spread of AIDS/HIV in the area.
The blood tests of 16 children from Ratodero came back from the District Lab at the Peoples Primary Health Initiative Jacobabad on April 25, confirming that 13 of them had tested positive for HIV. the children are all between the ages of four months and eight years.
However, the AIDS control programme incharge for Larkana said he wanted to wait until the children were retested by the provincial health department before confirming whether they had HIV.
There are approximately 270 fake doctors working in Larkana and 40 in Ratodero and the local administration wants to shut down their operations. Larkana’s district health officer, Abdul Rehman Baloch, said action will continue on Sunday and Monday against such doctors. They will also be checking clinics run by qualified doctors. If the proper SOPs aren’t followed, we will shut them down too, he said.
The assistant commissioner has sealed five laboratories so far and three people have been arrested.
According to the WHO, approximately 20,000 new HIV infections are reported in Pakistan annually, the highest rate of increase among all countries in the region.