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SACP accused of mishandling HIV outbreak

LARKANA: The Sindh Government and it’s initiative, the Sindh AIDS Control Program (SACP) have been charged with mishandling the HIV outbreak in Ratodero. Since the beginning, till even now, the SACP is not taking a keen interest in resolving the issue permanently, said Dr Aziz Soomro, a paediatrician from Larkana, who is settled in New York since years.

After great efforts, he was able to convince internationally acclaimed HIV/AIDS experts from Brown University to give online lectures to the doctors in Larkana and all of the Sindh province regarding the handling of and providing treatment to HIV positive people with particular reference to children and HIV mothers, he said.

So far, four such lectures had been held at Chandka Children Hospital, but the attendance of doctors remained negligible. In the last two addresses, even renowned child specialist Prof Dr Saifullah Jamro did not attend which displayed their interest in treating HIV cases, he informed.

He said those experts, who are delivering high profile lectures free of cost here, are charging $20,000 to 30,000 per lecture in Bangladesh, Philippines, and elsewhere in the world. They also expressed interest in coming to Larkana for three days from July 13-15 to hold an international conference on HIV and the establishment of the ultra-modern laboratory, provision of free treatment medicines, and so forth in Larkana.

He said that he even spoke to former Sindh Health Secretary, Saeed Awan, who instructed all doctors to attend the lectures but nobody obeyed him. He said his phone calls are not being attended by Director General, Health Services Sindh, Dr Masood Solangi, which reveals the government’s intentions and motivation towards this issue. He said being a Larkana inhabitant himself, he is concerned about the affairs that have surfaced in Ratodero which has shaken the world that is why he is constantly trying to get help from the experts of USA.

He also stated that this was the same reason he met with former US President Clinton and his spouse Hillary Clinton and requested them to help the HIV affected children of Benazir Bhutto’s home district through their Clinton Foundation which they have promised to consider.

He said those few doctors who attended lectures are not even filling the forms sent to them failing the experts because they did not receive the required output. He said even SACP Provincial Program Manager and Incharge, Larkana’s HIV/AIDS Treatment & Care Center, failed to attend lectures for which they were instructed to do so by the Sindh Health Secretary.

Another retired HIV expert doctor disclosed that not a single lady doctor attended the last two lectures even though 150 HIV positive pregnant women are registered in the Shaikh Zayed Hospital for Women in Larkana. He said it is very unfortunate, and a pity that our doctors are more interested in international tours, TA/DA, lunch & dinners but they are not sincere with their needy patients.

He said even those doctors are not coming who have been posted in the ART Center and HIV OPD at the Children’s Hospital. He said that the Sindh Government is begging for funds but is declining free help. He informed that local NGOs are running from pillar to post like hungry vultures to get involved in the business, but their past performance has been quite disappointing and thus should be neglected.

June 14, 2019

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