RATODERO: PPP Chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, recently announced the establishment of an Endowment Fund through which HIV positive people will receive medication throughout their life. He said he had instructed the Sindh Chief Minister to establish the fund separately.
He was addressing the press after visiting the screening camp & children’s ward established in the Taluka Hospital Ratodero. Bilawal was accompanied by the Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, Health Minister, Dr Azra Pechuho, Murtaza Wahab, Nisar Khuhro, and others. Doctors also briefed the Chairman and informed him that over 22,000 people had been screened in the last 32 days. He also met with the affected children, their parents, and assured them that they would not be left alone.
Bilawal stated that the HIV issue was being spread through media, and doctors were doing their job day and night since the past month. He said a few things needed to be made clear. He noted that the state of panic ensued as there was no information about HIV in the country. He stated that the media should help in spreading awareness in the country, especially in high-risk communities, along with other political parties.
Bilawal said that no single person could fight this viral disease, but they all have to fight it jointly in the country. He said children’s lives and health should be non-political. There is a difference between HIV and AIDS, adding that the treatment of HIV is possible, but if treatment is not provided then after ten years or so, the condition develops into AIDS, he explained.
He said that the treatment of HIV positive cases was possible like it was for diabetic patients. They were fighting this issue since 2012 when the Sindh Assembly passed a bill. The amended law was introduced just now so that this disease could be combated collectively.
Bilawal said that HIV was not to be considered a death sentence as its treatment was possible. The media was disclosing the names of the affected people which they would not tolerate anymore as it affected their social lives, he added. He proceeded to state that the news of 300 HIV positive cases in Turbat was also flashed on the same day when 150 cases were detected in Ratodero, but it was not noticed. He notified that some elements were politicizing the issue, but they had to provide treatment to the children. The usage of auto-lock syringes would be made mandatory and blood banks, which were substandard, would be closed. He demanded the removal of the health minister who gave a controversial statement about HIV and children.
Bilawal quoted that before the start of Iftar party, cries were heard from the Prime Minister House, adding ‘we will arrange more Iftar parties and invite others.’ He said that the Auditor General report had been made public for opponents and asked why the report of the Auditor General about KPK had been kept hidden. When investigations against Pervaiz Khattak and government ministers were discussed, the Prime Minister opted for blackmailing which they condemned.
Bilawal said that the price hike in gas and electricity tariffs was due to the negligence of the federal government to extract money from the people. He said that the federal government had no proper direction to the country’s economy. The business community was also affected due to the government’s failed economic policy, he added.
The Chairman of PPP stated that the system of NAB-Gardi and FIA was prevailing due to which bureaucrats and the government cannot work adding that the NAB and economy cannot go together. Bilawal condemned the blackmailing of the NAB chairman by running a video on a TV channel and said that the government should not make this type of blackmailing. “We have a principled stand on NAB that it is a black law, adding we do not do politics on personal lives.”
Earlier in the morning, Bilawal presided over a high-level meeting at the Bhutto House in Naundero, wherein he was briefed by the Sindh AIDS Control Program Manager, Dr Sikandar Memon, about the outbreak of HIV in Ratodero and measures so far taken.