KARACHI, Oct 13 (APP):Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly, Haleem Adil Sheikh, while expressing concerns over widespread prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the province, demanded for ensuring fully functional screening facilities at grass root level to check alarming spread of the deadly disease.
The leader of the opposition raised the issue through a letter addressing to the Chief Secretary Sindh and Health Secretary on Wednesday and 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.
Haleem Adil Sheikh while quoting media reports on startling situation of HIV/AIDS in the province 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 Adil 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.
Haleem observed that Sindh AIDS Control Program has 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.
He said that Sindh Government has failed to take appropriate measures to prevent spread of the deadly diseases though health experts across the province had time and again stressed need of 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 on 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.