KARACHI/LARKANA - An awareness walk was held here on Thursday to mark the World AIDS Day and create awareness about AIDS, which threatens millions of lives worldwide. The walk was organised by the Sindh AIDS Control Programme under the aegis of the Sindh Health Department. This year the theme of the World AIDS Day was "Leadership, Commitment, Impact.”

The walk was led by Larkana Deputy Commissioner Kahsif Ali Tipu and Sindh AIDS Control Programme Manager Dr Younis Chachar and largely participated by professors, doctors, notables, paramedical staff, lady health workers, social workers, students, teachers and scouts.

The walk started from CMC Hospital City Block and culminated at Larkana Press Club. The participants were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans about prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Addressing the participants in the walk, the deputy commissioner said the government was taking steps to raise awareness among people so that they could adopt preventive measures against this disease. He laid stress on the need for coordinated efforts by all segments of the society to control HIV/ADIS in the province.  On this occasion, religious figures, educationists, print and electronic media and non-government organisations were appealed to play their role in dissemination of information about HIV/AIDS and convince people to adopt preventive measures against this deadly disease.

AWARENESS SESSIONS

An NGO arranged awareness sessions on HIV/AIDS prevention at all its offices in Karachi and other parts of the country.

In a statement released here on Thursday, HANDS Chief Executive Dr Shaikh Tanveer Ahmed said there was a dire need to create awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention keeping in view the increasing number of HIV/AIDS patients in the country, especially Sindh.

“We organised awareness sessions at all our offices in the country and seminars for communities and schoolchildren at model villages established by HANDS in Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab,” he said.

Recently, as many as 1,500 cases of AIDS were reported in Larkana alone and the number of cases is rising due to various reasons, he said. According to media reports, AIDS has spread in Larkana due to unauthorised blood banks and laboratories and reuse of syringes. Globally, an estimated 34 million people have HIV virus. This virus has killed more than 35 million people so far.

CALL FOR MASS AWARENESS

Dr Zahid Sadder, executive director of the Sindh Health Development Society (SHED) and coordinator for the District Task Force on HIV/AIDS Hyderabad, on Thursday underlined the need for mass awareness about HIV/AIDS.

Speaking at an event, he said serious efforts were needed to control HIV/AIDS in Pakistan. He said that incidence of HIV/AIDS was increasing in Sindh gradually because of a lack of awareness. He said there was a need to protect children and adults from HIV/AIDS and support those affected by the deadly disease.