Nearly 900 children in a Pakistani city have tested positive for HIV after a rogue paediatrician allegedly reused infected syringes.
About 200 adults have also tested positive for the virus since the epidemic in Ratodero was confirmed in April. But health officials fear the true number affected could be far higher, with less a quarter of city’s 200,000 residents tested so far.
The outbreak was initially blamed on Dr Muzaffar Ghanghro, a paediatrician who at 16p a visit was one of the cheapest in the small central city. He was arrested and charged with negligence and manslaughter after his patients accused him of frequently reusing syringes on their children.
Despite an initial investigation by police and health officials concluding Dr Ganghro’s “negligence and carelessness” as the “prime” reason for the outbreak, officials believe he is unlikely to be the sole cause. Visiting health workers often see doctors in Ratodero reusing syringes, while dentists use unsterilised tools in roadside surgeries and barbers use the same razor on various customers, The New York Times reported.
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Source: The Independent, 27 October 2019