Panic in Pakistan: Nearly 900 children tested HIV-positive after doctor reuses syringes
About 900 children from a Pakistani city have tested positive for HIV after a fraud pediatrician allegedly reused infected syringes.
Not only children but also nearly 200 adults were tested positive for the virus since the Ratodero epidemic in April.
However, health officials fear the real number of the affected people could be far higher.
This outbreak was initially blamed on one of the cheapest pediatricians in the small city, Dr. Muzaffar Ghanghro. After his patients accused him of frequently reusing syringes on their children, he was arrested and charged with negligence and manslaughter.
One of the affected children’s fathers, Imtiaz Jalbani, told The New York Times that Dr. Ghanghro searched through his bin for an old needle to use on his six-year-old son. The poor kid, one of six, was later diagnosed as HIV-positive. The mischief doctor responded that the father was too poor to afford paying for a new needle.
Since this incident, four of Mr. Jalbani’s children have tested positive for the virus. Sadly, two of them, the youngest ones, died.
Another parent of three HIV-positive children that contracted the disease after being treated by Dr. Ganghro said that he applied the same drip on 50 children without changing the needle.
The rogue doctor’s negligence and carelessness were pointed out as the prime reason for the outbreak.
However, officials believe he is not the only cause of the HIV epidemic. According to The New York Times, health workers who visit Ratodero often witness doctors reusing syringes, dentists working with unsterilized tools, and barbers using the same razor on different customers.
“Unless these quack doctors, barbers ,and dentists are not checked, the number of incidents of HIV infection will continue going up.”