Up to 900 children have now been infected with HIV by ‘rogue doctor’ who reused infected syringes in Pakistan
- Dr Muzaffar Ghanghro has been charged with negligence and manslaughter
- One parent said he saw the paediatrician rummaging through a bin for a needle
- Health officials fear the number of infected could be much higher
Dr Muzaffar Ghanghro allegedly used infected syringes on children
Nearly 900 children in a Pakistani city have tested positive for HIV after a rogue doctor reused infected syringes.
Earlier this year, it was reported that there had been an outbreak of 500 cases of the virus in Ratodero.
But now the figure is as high as 1,100, with 900 children, with health officials fearing hundreds more, after paediatrician Dr Muzaffar Ghanghro allegedly used infected syringes.
The doctor was charging 16p a visit and was one of the cheapest in the city.
A quarter of the city’s 200,000 residents have been tested so far, leading health officials to fear the number could be much higher, according to The New York Times.
He was later arrested and charged with negligence and manslaughter after the scale of the outbreak came out.
Dr Ghanghro has not yet been convicted and is still working as a GP at a public hospital on the city’s outskirts.
The lack of awareness about HIV has led to some of the 900 infected children being shunned by their friends and being forced to sit alone
Pakistani villagers wait outside a hospital for blood screening for HIV at a hospital in a village near Ratodero
Imtiaz Jalbani had six of his children treated by the doctor and said he once saw him rummaging through a bin for an old needle on his son, six, who was later diagnosed as HIV-positive.
Four of Mr Jalbani’s children have since tested positive for HIV and the two youngest have died.
Another parent said Dr Ghanghro used the same drip on 50 children without changing the needle.
A quarter of the city’s 200,000 residents have been tested so far, leading health officials to fear the number could be much higher
The paediatrician has denied the accusations and insists he is innocent.
Officials he is unlikely to be the sole source of the outbreak, after visiting health workers saw other doctors in Rotadero reusing syringes and dentists using unsterilised tools.
The lack of awareness about HIV has led to some of the 900 infected children being shunned by their friends and being forced to sit alone, fearing the virus can be passed on by touch.
HOW IS HIV TRANSMITTED AND PREVENTED?
HIV is spread through bodily fluids, such as semen or blood.
It’s most commonly passed on during unprotected sex, including oral and anal sex.
It can also be passed on through needle or syringe use.
Using a condom during sex is one of the best ways to avoid getting HIV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Anyone can get HIV if they have unprotected sex, but gay men are one of the highest risk groups.
Women who have only ever had sex with women are at low risk.
The FDA has approved more than two dozen antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV infection.
They’re often broken into six groups because they work in different ways.
Doctors recommend taking a combination or ‘cocktail’ of at least two of them.
Called antiretroviral therapy, or ART, it can’t cure HIV, but the medications can extend lifespans and reduce the risk of transmission.