Pakistan doctor held after 400 children diagnosed with HIVIvy Madziva
Pakistan doctor held after 400 children diagnosed with HIV.
Authorities investigating if Muzaffar Ghangharo, who has Aids, knowingly spread virus.
A doctor has been arrested in Pakistan after more than 400 children and 100 adults tested positive for HIV, with authorities investigating whether he intentionally infected them.
Authorities say the outbreak in Larkana, southern Pakistan, apparently began when Muzaffar Ghangharo, who has Aids, infected patients in early April. He was arrested this month and police are trying to determine whether Ghangharo knowingly spread the disease.
Sikandar Memon, head of the Aids control programme in Sindh province, said officials had screened 13,800 people from Larkana and 410 children and 100 adults tested positive for HIV.
“We were in great pain the day we heard about our son testing HIV positive,” Rehmat Bibi, the mother of 10-year-old Ali Raza, told the Associated Press.
She said nothing seemed unusual when the boy came down with a fever at their home in the dusty, largely neglected district of Larkana. The doctor prescribed paracetamol syrup for Raza and told her there was no need to worry. But she panicked after being told that several children who came down with a fever had tested positive for HIV in nearby villages.
Bibi took Raza to a hospital where medical tests confirmed the boy was among about 500 people, mostly children, who authorities say have tested positive for the virus, which can lead to Aids.
Bibi said it was heartbreaking to learn that her child contracted HIV at such a young age. She said all her family members had been tested for the virus but Raza was found to be the only one who tested positive.
Nationwide, Pakistan’s health ministry has registered more than 23,000 HIV cases. Pakistani health officials have said HIV is usually spread in the country by using unsterilised syringes.
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