ISLAMABAD -  The Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU), PIMS, has signed an MoU with the National Aids Control Programme through which over 1700 HIV/Aids patients would benefit for free treatment at the university hospital.

"Let's be fair in patient care and specially with those who are suffering from HIV/AIDS and this MoU is one initiative of the hospital to help the patients by providing them free treatment, counselling, and provision of free medication," Vice Chancellor of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University Prof Javed Akram told media after the MoU signing ceremony held here on Tuesday.

He added, "As per the data shared by the HIV/AIDS Control Programme there are estimated 90,000 AIDS patients across Pakistan and only 9,000 are registered for getting treatment, however, with such initiatives we will able to reach out to more AIDS patients."

"The NACP is doing a better job and signing such an MoU will not just help the patients but also help the faculty and students of the SZAB Medical University launch research relating to AIDS," maintained Prof Javed.

The vice chancellor said that with the establishment of SZAB Medical University the patients across the country would not only benefit from NACP programmes but opening of small units of all vertical health programmes at university hospital would also serve the patients coming from different parts of the country.

Prof Javed informed the media, "We will enhance the treatment base of the AIDS patients and will try to ensure the registration of all those who will be turning up at the AIDS clinic of the hospital."

Meanwhile, Dr Baseer Achakzai said that signing of MoU with hospital is a step for giving more support to the patients suffering from AIDS. He said that NACP is maintaining the database of AIDS patients who are registered at different treatment points established across the country.

Dr Achakzai maintained that the number of patients who are suffering from AIDS in twin cities is quite big; however, because of social taboos the patients did not turn up for treatment at any of their centres like the one working here at this hospital.