Saturday, November 26

HIV-infected boy dies in Ratodero as cases continue to rise

LARKANA:A four-year-old boy, Ghulamullah, son of Muhammad Ibrahim Marfani, died of HIV in Ratodero on Saturday.


He was residing near the waterlogging drain of Nadir Shah Muhalla. His father told Neesmen that his son’s viral disease was detected one and half years ago and local doctors referred him to Children Hospital and HIV/AIDS Treatment Centre in Larkana for treatment, where doctors only registered him and gave a few syrups for fever and cough and then asked to leave.


He questioned: “If treatment centres have been established then why HIV affected children are dying? Why their viral load is increasing and why CD-4 count is decreasing? He said the National AIDS Control Program and Sindh’s Health Department should investigate this issue forthwith and save children of Ratodero from deaths. He said the behaviour of the doctors with the affected patients needed to be improved on war footing or else they should be removed from their posts who cannot be patient-friendly.


According to Gul Bahar Shaikh, a local journalist of Ratodero, and Dr Imran Arbani, about 50,000 people among the general public had so far been screened since the past 18 months of HIV outbreak in Ratodero and its adjoining areas out of whom 2,100 were detected with HIV positive. The 1,372 among them are little children between the age group of six months to seven years and 49 of them have so far expired and the number is increasing slowly, they added.


They said one little girl died of HIV co-infections whose father is an influential person. They said the father of the deceased girl after detection of the viral disease did not bring his daughter to any Centre for treatment because he was afraid of the infamous disease which would degrade her.


They said the girl was infected through a local doctor but the fear among the parents had shaken the residents. They said since the past four months, Sindh government’s health department had imposed a silent ban on sharing HIV data despite commitment which clearly indicated that they were no more interested in treatment of the affected people.