HIV-affected children of Ratodero seem to be forgotten in a matter of few months after they came into spotlight earlier this year.
In April the following year, an epidemic of HIV outbreak had devastatingly affected children of the city near Larkana. Around 900 children were left bedfast. Initially one pediatrician was blamed for causing the spread of disease, later, it turned out that poverty was the main reason behind the deadly illness gripping the area, a report published by The New York Times revealed.
More than 1,100 people have contracted the virus with more than 81 percent of them children under the age of 12.
During an investigation, it was revealed that a large number of poor children had visited the same doctor, Muzaffar Ghanghro, who reused syringes on them. He was the cheapest doctor in the locality and people could not afford expensive treatment.
“The pediatrician treated all six of Imtiaz Jalbani’s children, four of whom contracted H.I.V. His two youngest, 14-month-old Rida and 3-year-old Sameena, have died,” The New York Times claimed.
Jalbani said he had himself seen the doctor reusing syringe to treat his child and when he inquired from him about the reason, he said that he could visit another doctor if he was not satisfied with his treatment.
However, different other reasons have been also seen behind the spread of the disease, apart from a large number of doctors reusing syringes and I.V. needles. Barbers use the same razor on multiple customers and dentists use unsterilized tools on patients.
The World Health Organisation and a number of other international health organisations arrived in Ratodero to deal with the influx of cases. They also donated hundreds of testing kits to the local hospitals. However, the peril of outbreak of HIV still hangs over the city even after passage of five months.
According to a task force of the UNAIDS on H.I.V, the number of HIV positive patients doubled in Pakistan from 2010 to 2018. While, the original number may still be higher as most of the population goes untested.
“With competing priorities, H.I.V. and AIDS is at the back seat of the government’s agenda,” Maria Elena Filio-Borromeo, the UNAIDS director for Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been quoted by The New York Times as saying.