Twenty-three HIV-positive women have given birth to healthy babies since the creation of the family care centre for prevention of AIDS at Hayatabad Medical Complex Peshawar, officials said on Tuesday.
Official sources in Provincial Aids Control Programe (PACP) told The Express Tribune that they have registered 27 HIV-positive women in the past two years, of which 23 belong to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Modern medicine has made it possible so that a baby will not be transmitted the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from the mother.
(Read: Guidelines for AIDS affected children’s care launched)
Dr Nasira Yasinzai, coordinator of the centre, said that a recent survey showed that HIV-positive mothers can breastfeed their children for six months without any risk, but it is necessary for both the baby and the mother to use anti-viral drugs.
There are 832 AIDS-affected people in K-P and the tribal areas registered with the authorities. However as the majority of patients do not register themselves with the PACP the number is on the rise, an official said; since January 2007 only 27 women have been registered with the PACP, he added.
According to the PACP report, out of 832 registered patients, 593 are men, 197 women and 42 are children. The report also stated that Peshawar, with 105 out of the 832 registered, has the highest number of Aids patients. In addition to this there are 64 in Bannu, 59 in North Waziristan , 5 in DI Khan, 82 in Kohat, 4 in Karak, 13 in Lakki Marwat, 1 in Tank, 34 in Hangu, 20 in Nowshehra, 29 in Charsadda, 9 in Mardan, 30 in Swabi, 1 in Abbotabd, 3 in Mansehra, 1 in Batagram, 41 in Swat, 35 in Upper Dir, 32 in Lower Dir Lower, 1 in Kohistan, 3 in Shangla, 17 in Bunir, 3 in Chitral, 8 in Malakand, 40 in Khyber Agency, 14 in Orakzai, 41 in Kurram, 25 in South Waziristan, 9 in Mohmand, 8 in Bajaur and 4 HIV-positive cases registered in FR Kohat.
(Read: No refuge for women with AIDS)
“We also have 83 patients from Afghanistan, five from Punjab and two from Zambia,” said Dr Sher Muhammad, Provincial Manager for AIDS Control Programme.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2011.