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What the government is doing to tackle Larkana’s HIV crisis

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 9, 2019 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
Posted: Oct 9, 2019 | Last Updated: 8 months ago
What the government is doing to tackle Larkana’s HIV crisis

Photo: AFP

As the number of HIV cases in Larkana continue to rise, the Sindh government is taking measures to ensure the wellbeing of the affected community.

The number of people infected has jumped to 1,112 out of the 35,688 screened in camps in Larkana and other districts, said the Sindh AIDS Control Programme on Wednesday. Of these, fifty-eight are adult males, 165 adult females, 547 male children and 342 female children.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has directed two committees to be formed for the rehabilitation and long-term welfare of those affected by the virus and their families.

The committee for the rehabilitation of people with HIV will work on implementing and monitoring rehabilitation activities and utilising the endowment fund of Rs1 billion established in June. Members will meet once every two months to track progress.

Related: Number of HIV positive cases jumps to 1,056 in Larkana

The committee will be chaired by the Larkana commissioner and will comprise MPA Syed Farrukh Ahmed Shah, a psychologist, an immunologist from Indus Hospital Dr Sabiha Anis, the chairperson of the department of psychology at Sindh University Jamshoro Professor Dr Arfana Shah, assistant professor of infectious diseases at Dow University Dr Azizullah Dhilloo, a nominee of the Sindh Mental Health Authority, vice-chancellor of the Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University Larkana, the deputy commissioner of Larkana, District Health Officer Larkana and the head of the treatment centre for adults at the Chandka Medical College Hospital, Larkana.

The other committee for the ‘Investment Fund for Rehab and Welfare of HIV/AIDS patients’ will work on welfare schemes for patients and their families.

It will also take measures to improve awareness of infectious diseases and subsidise the cost of disposable syringes and contraceptives. However, it was stated that the committee will not be responsible for procuring and distributing medicines or developing any physical infrastructure schemes.

Members will formulate an investment policy for the endowment fund and work closely with the rehabilitation committee to utilise them. All profits earned by the endowment fund will be utilised or reinvested until utilised in accordance with objectives.

This committee will be headed the health minister herself and consist of Larkana MPA Khursheed Ahmad Junejo, a representative of the finance department, the assistant professor of infectious diseases SIUT Dr Sunil Dodani, a social worker from Larkana Dr Dayali Gul, the additional secretary technical health and the program manager of the Sindh AIDS Control Programme.

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