LARKANA - Ratodero police arrested a doctor on the charge of allegedly spreading Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) among locals here on Tuesday. According to police, Larkana Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Irfan Baloch announced the formation of a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe into the matter. The team was formed under the supervision of Kamber-Shahdadkot senior superintendent of police (SSP), comprising three junior officers from different police stations. On the other hand, Dr Muzaffar Ghanghar, who is employed at a public hospital and an HIV patient himself according to local health authorities, termed the allegations against him baseless, asserting that it was a conspiracy of Health Care Commission against him. He maintained that he was not aware of his condition, adding that he would have sought treatment of the disease if he knew he was an HIV patient. Meanwhile, a tug-of-war had been observed between Larkana Deputy Commissioner, Health Care Commission and Health Department authorities, particularly Director General Health Sindh Dr Masood Ahmed Solangi who denied any involvement of Dr Muzaffar Ghangharo behind the spread of HIV in Ratodero and surroundings. In Larkana district, HIV-positive cases rose to 39 as panic gripped the district and authorities tried to ascertain the causes behind the spread of the virus among residents. It was reported that around 1200 individuals had been examined in the constituency of MNA Faryal Talpur among whom 13 children were tested positive for HIV/AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) in Ratodero Town of Larkana district. According to Aids Control Programme in Sindh, there are over 100,000 HIV-positive people in Sindh. However, the Aids Control Programme has only 10,350 registered patients who are provided treatment. Larkana continues to top the list of the districts that are highly affected by HIV in Sindh with the total number of AIDS patients more than 2,400. Earlier, the blood samples of 16 children were sent to a laboratory for test of which 13 were tested positive for HIV/AIDS. The children are between the ages of four months and eight years. Parents of the affected children were tested negative in their tests.

The children are said to be affected through infected injections.

It is to be noted that a blood screening camp had been set up by Sindh Aids Control Programme and Health Department at Ratodero Hospital. The camp has now ceased functioning, and the authorities are waiting until the children are retested and confirmed either having HIV or not. The health authorities are cracking down on unregistered laboratories and doctors in the wake of HIV’s spread in the area.