The Central Vice President of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, Wednesday, expressed concern over alarming spread of HIV/AIDS in Sindh.
The leader of the opposition raised the issue through a letter to the Chief Secretary Sindh and Health Secretary on Wednesday and demanded of them to ensure fully functional screening facilities across the province to check alarming spread of the deadly disease.
Haleem said that HIV/AIDS was spreading across the province due to lack of screening of patients and a large number of undiagnosed patients were spreading the disease while it was not possible to know exact number of infected people.
While quoting media reports on startling situation of HIV/AIDS in the province, he pointed out the rising numbers of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B & C cases in Sindh.
Data released by the Sindh Blood Transfusion Authority (SBTA) revealed that 24,088 individuals were infected with one or more infectious diseases and were unfit for blood donation after their samples were screened at blood banks in 24 districts during the first eight months of 2021, he noted.
The HIV infection was detected in 1282 people in Karachi and it was continuously increasing in Larkana as more than 5,000 HIV cases, including pregnant women and children, were reported in the district, Haleem said adding that in Larkana, only more than 40 children infected with the disease had lost their lives.
He said that HIV/AIDs cases were also reported from Hyderabad, Sukkur, Sanghar, Thatta, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and other districts of the Province.
The opposition leader observed that Sindh AIDS Control Program had failed to fully screen the Ratodero town, while one of the major reasons for the spread of AIDS is the lack of screening facilities and concealment of the disease by infected persons.
Haleem that Sindh government had failed to take appropriate measures to prevent spread of the deadly diseases though health experts across the province time and again. He stressed the need for screening of HIV/AIDS and other transmitting diseases.
Sindh HIV and AIDS Control Treatment and Protection Act 2013 required formation of a commission for implementation of the law and monitoring of relevant activities, he said adding that commission was notified six years later on directives of Sindh High Court but it was not seen working on the grounds.
He demanded that fully functional screening facilities for diagnosis of HIV/AIDS and other transmitting diseases be made available at grass root level across the province, particularly in districts with higher number of cases detected.