ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said on Sunday that a team of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will soon visit Pakistan to help tackle the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in Sindh.
Addressing a press conference, Dr Mirza said that the rising number of HIV/AIDS cases in Ratodero Larkana was a matter of serious concern as so far 681 people including 537 children have been tested positive for HIV/AIDS. Dr Mirza said that so far 21,375 people have been screened for HIV/AIDS in Sindh.
He said that the 10-member WHO and the CDC team will soon visit Karachi to get an appraisal of the HIV/AIDS situation. The adviser said that the WHO will also provide 50,000 kits to help contain HIV/AIDS.
He said that three units were being set up for the screening of suspected HIV/AIDS patients.
He clarified that parents of the affected children did not carry the HIV virus. Dr Mirza said that according to an estimate, around 0.63 million people in Pakistan carry HIV virus and some of them do not come forward considering the stigma attached to the life-threatening condition.
The adviser stressed the need to create awareness among the masses about HIV/AIDS saying there is a need to diminish the social stigma associated with the condition.
He said that hepatitis was an all-time high in Pakistan among world countries but people discuss and get treatment for the viral disease but eschew from discussing HIV/AIDS.
Dr Mirza also said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will unveil his health plan in two weeks, which will help carry out drastic reforms in the health sector.
Dr Mirza recently visited Sukkur and Larkana districts to evaluate the HIV/AIDS situation.