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International experts for easy public accessibility to HIV, HBV and HCV PM’s Advisor terms HIV outbreak in Larkana a wake-up call

Staff Reporter

Karachi

Ready availability of facilities to screen Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) along with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HBV) across Pakistan has been recommenced by the team of international health experts on conclusion of their visit to ascertain exact cause of HIV outbreak in Ratodero, Larkana.
Dr Oliver Morgan, leader of the team and Director of Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment of WHO Health Emergencies Programme addressing a press conference here on Friday said there was also need to reduce the risky and hazardous practices on part of the healthcare providers themselves.
“Most likely cause of recent outbreak that led to 598 confirmed cases of HIV infection, including 500 among children, are unsafe injections and poor health practices,’ said the expert in quite categorical terms.
He further emphasized that questionable practices registered among healthcare providers in Larkana and its suburbs were not restricted to any single area or part of the country.
Dr Oliver at the onset of his presentation said his team had worked very closely with federal and provincial health authorities and appreciated efforts being made to address the situation.
‘Looking forward it is suggested to reduce risky practices coupled with uninterrupted provision for antiretroviral (ARV) drugs those affected,’ said WHO Director of Health Emergency Information and Risk Assessment.
Due realization on part of people that ARV therapy is a life long treatment that is also successful provided it is timely diagnosed, he said was also needed to be duly realized by the stakeholders.
Dr Eamonn Murphy, Director, Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, UNAIDS on the occasion appreciated WHO for mobilizing quickly.