Regional News

10 govt. employees suspected of HIV infections: PACP

FAISALABAD: In a recent screening camp set up by the E-med, an entity comprising government and private doctors as many as 10 employees of the deputy commissioner’s office have been suspected of being HIV positive and around two dozen others are found suffering from hepatitis B and C.

According to Punjab AIDS Control Programme (PACP) high incidence of HIV cases in Faisalabad was attributed to a large number of intravenous (IV) drugs users. He said that government was planning to increase the number of PACP centres in Punjab. In June last, it was found that the number of HIV-positive persons was increasing at an alarming rate in five districts of Punjab, Faisalabad, Chiniot, Sahiwal, Jhang and Nankana and more than 2,800 such patients from these areas were registered with the PACP for free medicines.

The HIV positive suspects working in the DC office have been asked to get their PCR tests conducted for conformation or rejection.

Doctors said following the news about some 3,000 HIV/AIDS patients registered with the PACP, Punjab health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid had claimed elaborate measures were in place to tackle the situation.

PACP Officials said surfacing of suspected HIV cases among DC office employees showed the gravity of the situation and inefficacy of government measures to tackle it. They said because of financial constraints aggravated by the recent price-hike a majority of the HIV/AIDS patients avoided being screened as they could not afford treatment expenses.

Currently, 16 PACP centres are operative in different districts and the number would be increased to 36 in future, an official said.

DC Mohammad Ali said all his office employees were entitled to free medical treatment and health authority would facilitate them in this regard. PHC in a statement denied having any role in disease prevention and said it had been continuously working towards the elimination of quackery, and its “efforts were bearing fruit”.

It said the spread of disease could not be attributed to just one cause.

The statement said so far in Faisalabad only, the PHC enforcement teams sealed 3,775 outlets of quacks in raids on 5,875 treatment centres. Also, over 1,700 backstreet treatment centres had been converted into other businesses because of the PHC working, it added.

-MN Report

February 7, 2020

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