PESHAWAR: AIDS Control Programme for Tribal Districts has registered some 700 HIV-AIDS patients who were getting free of cost tests, treatment and medicines, said Programme Manager Dr Durkhanai Wali.
She said that since 2003 until closing data available with department, the figure has reached to 700. These patients were under treatment at Hayatabad Medical Centre.
“For controlling the spread of the disease, we have established three AIDS Control Centres in South Waziristan, Kohat and Sadda (Parachinar),” Dr Wali said talking to The Express Tribune after an awareness walk at International AIDS Day Programme, which was also attainted by officials of the Directorate of Health and Aid Control Program Tribal Districts on Friday in Peshawar.
“We are trying to provide treatment to HIV-AIDS patients in their nearest district so that they don’t need to travel to the provincial capital for medicine and tests,” Dr Wali said. For prevention of the spread of the disease, she requested the people of tribal as well settled districts to get HIV-AIDS tests done free of cost at the nearest centres.
Regarding the break up number of patients in tribal areas, Dr Wali said that out of 700 registered patients, 58 are from Bajaur, 126 from Khyber, 60 from Mohmand, 135 from Kurram and 32 from Orakzai, 180 from North Waziristan and 109 in South Waziristan.
Tribal Districts Directors Health Dr Adnan Taj said that AIDS was curable if diagnosed timely. He asked tribal elders to play their role in creating awareness about the disease and help strengthen the AIDS Control Programme. “The HIV-AIDS patients need love and care like any other ill person,” he said urging the society to give up the stigmas against the infected people.
From 2005 till date free medication has been provided to 4,622 registered HIV-AIDS patients, speakers said at an event organised by the National AIDS Control Programme at Peshawar Press Club on Friday.
Currently, in K-P there were 16,000 registered cases of these 11,338 were men, 3,171 women, 210 transgender, 274 boys and 297 girls, they said.
Many patients of the viral disease have recovered and spending normal life, they said at the gathering held to raise awareness about HIV-AIDS.
K-P’s HIV-AIDS experts Dr Saeed, Dr Jameel and a team of UN AIDS Control Programme said in our society, people suffering from HIV-AIDS do not get love and care they deserve rather they are expelled from their own homes.
The UN experts warned that HIV-AIDS was increasing at the rate of 45% per annum, which was second highest in Asia. Currently there were about 150,000 HIV-AIDS patients in Pakistan. Of these, 50% were in Punjab, 43% in Sindh, 5% in KPK including tribal districts and 2% patients were in Balochistan.
Regarding unregistered patients, they said that according to estimates drawn from independent surveys, there were around 174,000 women, 835,000 men and 53,000 transgender people suffering from the disease in the country.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 1st, 2018.