The number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases in Larkana soared to 785 with diagnosis of seven new cases on Wednesday. Local health officials have completed screening of 26,872 people in the region. 

The number of HIV infected children has reached to 646 in the area, officials said. World Health Organization (WHO) had recently released initial report of HIV outbreak in Larkana. An 11-member team of the WHO has prepared its preliminary report on HIV situation in Larkana and adjoining areas.

The final report on the outbreak will be released on February 15, 2020, the world health body said in a statement. The report declared the HIV epidemic as Grade-II emergency in which 751 people including 600 children were affected.

According to the report, around 1.5 million dollars required to control the epidemic situation but the WHO could not provide the required financial assistance for the emergency situation. The WHO could arrange 2,00,000 dollars, the report further said.

The WHO report said that for 240 HIV affected children medicines are available till July 15. Highlighting the causes of HIV infection, the report pointed out unsafe blood transfusion and used syringes apart of transfer of the Aids virus from mothers to children etc.

A team of WHO was arrived in Pakistan in May, which met Sindh health minister and the officials of the health department. The team also visited Larkana, Ratodero and surrounding areas to inspect the HIV Aids situation.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister for National Health Dr Zafar Mirza had written a letter to the WHO and requested for immediately sending a team of experts to Pakistan to visit the areas affected by the HIV epidemic.

Pakistan had also requested the WHO to provide diagnostic kits for HIV Aids.

The prime minister’s aide on national health in his letter asked the WHO to immediately provide 50,000 HIV diagnostic kits for the crisis areas adding that the HIV cases have reached to epidemic level in Larkana district.