ISLAMABAD - The Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) on Saturday sought the support of World Health Organisation (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean office to cope with the emerging cases of HIV/AIDS in Sindh.

Details said, special assistant to prime minister (PM) Dr Zafar Mirza has written a letter to the WHO Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO) office to provide support for an effective preventive control. Dr Mirza also requested the WHO office to provide 50,000 HIV testing kits and send rapid response team to the area.

Letter written to WHO regional director Dr Ahmed Salim Al-Mandhari, PM special assistant on health, said that I am in Larkana district of Sindh taking stock of the situation emerging from a spike in HIV/AIDS cases in a short span of time.

It said that most alarmingly, of over 600 cases that have surfaced so far, 500 are children between 2 months to 12 years old.

The letter also added that on my directions, the federal ministry is working in close coordination with the Sindh health department to investigate the outbreak as well as take necessary remedial measures. We are also providing support to the provincial health department in planning an effective preventive and control response.

Sends letter seeking 50,000 testing kits, rapid response teams

“In view of the situation, we would like to request your support in terms of a rapid response team to be dispatched at the earliest to the area. Considering the increase in demand of diagnostic kits, it is also requested to provide testing kits,” it said. “We also seek your support for including experts in paediatric HIV/AIDS in the team. We also need paediatric ARVs,” the letter said.

Statement issued by ministry of NHS had said that minister of health Dr Zafar Mirza has reached Larkana to help address situation. Upon arrival, the minister had detailed discussions with Sindh health minister Dr Azra Fazal to review and analyse the situation.

 Dr Mirza while assuring provincial authorities of fullest support of the federal government in controlling the outbreak said, when it comes to health we have to work together as one team and take all necessary measures in coordination.

In this regard, the health minister said he had convened a national stakeholder meeting where experts have pledged technical support to Sindh health department. The federal ministry through National AIDS Control Program would arrange all diagnostic kits and medicine for treatment of affected children and adults. The federal health ministry will support in establishing 3 new AIDS treatment centres in Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas, Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Hyderabad shared Dr Zafar Mirza.

 

The minister said his ministry and Sindh health authorities will work on short, medium- and long-term outbreak management and mitigation measures to strengthen HIV response and support health systems to avert such occurrences in the future.