ISLAMABAD: Since the world’s largest HIV outbreak among children was reported in the Ratodero Town of Sindh in April 2019. Officials stated as many as 324 HIV-positive children have died in Sindh. Most of whom were in the city of Larkana and its suburbs.
Details of the HIV-infected child died:
“Until February 15, 2023, approximately 324 children, including 207 boys and 117 girls, have died as a result of HIV complications and opportunistic infections in Sindh. A representative of the Sindh health department disclosed this information to The News on Wednesday. “These children had tested positive for HIV during the last four years, and many of them were receiving HIV treatment.”
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In Sindh, 2,865 children have tested positive for HIV so far. Most of them live in Ratodero Taluka of Larkana and the adjacent Garhi Khero, Garhi Yasin, and Sujawal Junjeo Talukas. It is also known as the “hub of HIV-infected children” in Sindh. Around 164 kicked the bucket during the last year, between January 2022 to February 15, 2023. Since the outbreak was first reported, only 160 HIV-infected children had died in the region as of January 2022.
Regarding the deaths of HIV-infected children in Sindh, renowned pediatric infectious diseases expert Dr. Fatima Mir stated that TB was the leading cause of death among these children. In addition to a number of other comorbidities or diseases. First and foremost, these children were malnourished because their families are extremely poor and do not have enough food. She stated, “The majority of the HIV-positive children were anemic. Meaning their hemoglobin level was significantly below the normal range of 12-15 g/dL.” As indicated by her, the greater part of the HIV-tainted youngsters was additionally contaminated with Hepatic B &C. While a significant number of them were likewise experiencing other “crafty diseases”.
Statements of Doctors:
Dr. Fatima had predicted that approximately 50% of HIV-positive children would die within a year. Or two of the Ratodero outbreak’s announcements in April 2019. Described the fact that only 11.30% of children died from infectious disease complications as a “great achievement” for Sindh’s HIV/AIDS control officials.
According to Gulbahar Shaikh, a resident of the Ratodero area of Larkana whose daughter is also HIV positive. “Lack of awareness among parents of HIV-infected children is the main cause of deaths of children in Larkana. Because people don’t take their children to the HIV treatment center regularly.”
He maintained that HIV-infected children not only require regular Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) medications. But also medicines for other infections and diseases, food, iron supplements, and regular checkups. However, many parents were inconsistent, and as a result, the virus became active in their bodies and they died from opportunistic infections, particularly tuberculosis.
Dr. Ershad Kazmi has written a letter to the Director General of Health Sindh in support of the establishment of an Infection Prevention and Control cell. Because of the ongoing spread of HIV in Larkana and the districts that surround it. In the letter, he states that the Sindh Healthcare Commission was supposed to eradicate dubious practices. But it has utterly failed to carry out its responsibilities, which include putting IPC guidelines and recommendations into action.