Authorities claim to have found the cause of the recent alarming spike in HIV-positive cases in the hometown of the Bhutto family.
It might come as a shock but authorities claim that the cause of the HIV spread in Larkana district is a doctor.
Yes, a doctor!
Police have detained Dr Muzaffar Ghangharo on charges of infecting dozens of his patients with HIV.
Dr Muzaffar, himself an Aids patient, works at a public hospital and also runs a private clinic in Ratodero, a small town in Larkana.
Rising HIV cases
He is accused of infecting 42 people – including children – with HIV which causes the deadly disease of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, or Aids.
Earlier this month, provincial health authorities were alarmed when the number of HIV-positive cases rose to 39 – including more than a dozen children.
Subsequently, an inquiry was ordered in which it transpired that most of the children who tested positive for HIV had visited Dr Muzaffar’s private clinic for other ailments.
The deputy commissioner, Noman Siddiqui, ordered medical examination of the accused doctor which revealed that he himself was an Aids patient.
Sargodha jail inmates suffering from HIV
Siddiqui claimed that Dr Muzaffar deliberately infected his patients with HIV through infected syringes. He suspected that the accused doctor might be suffering from some psychological problem.
Dr Muzaffar was taken into custody on the complaint of Sindh Aids Control Programme and an investigation is ongoing.
Dr Muzaffar, however, denied the charges, saying he did not know that he himself was afflicted by Aids. “If I had known about my condition [Aids], then I would have sought medical help,” he added.
He accused the Sindh Healthcare Commission of implicating him to hide its own ‘incompetence’.
Of fake doctors and fake clinics
Dr Sikander Memon, the in-charge of the Aids Control Programme in Sindh, told Gulf News that there are estimated to be 100,000-plus HIV-positive people in the province, though the programme has only 10,350 registered patients who are provided treatment.
Larkana continues to top the list of districts most affected by HIV in Sindh, with the total number of Aids patients at more than 2,400.
According to WHO, Pakistan is registering approximately 20,000 new HIV infections annually – the highest rate of increase among all countries in the region.