Lower Dir district carries highest burden of AIDS

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PESHAWAR, Apr 10: Despite recording satisfactory progress in treating patients for a number of illnesses ranging from simple fever to the more dangerous Hepatitis-C, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government failed drastically to control the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The District Health Information System’s (DHIS) annual report for 2016 on Sunday revealed that the number of HIV/AIDS patients increased by 140 per cent to 96 in 2016 as against 40 in 2015.

However, the number of patients with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) dropped by 17 per cent to 11,477 cases as compared with 13,893 cases in 2015, the DHIS revealed.

HIV/AIDS cases post an uptick in Pakistan

Health experts say majority of the HIV/AIDS cases are being reported among drug users as they use the same syringe over and over again.

“The trend started in 2012 and the injection drug users were constantly becoming victims,” said AIDS Control Programme former member Dr Hilal Ahmad. “Sexual contact was also a factor in the increased number of cases.”

Some 24.31 million K-P individuals were reported in the outpatient departments of the government health facilities and screened for different diseases. Some 11.86 million individuals were found to have been infected, with some still as suspected patients.

Approximately 94 patients, out of the total suspected HIV/AIDS patients, belonged to Lower Dir while the two remaining cases were confirmed from Swat.

STIs statistics show that the highest number was reported from Peshawar after some 2,694 individuals were reported followed by 1,067 from Swat and 1,064 from Mardan. About 973 STIs cases were reported from Bannu and 967 from Mansehra.

Nearly 100,000 people in Pakistan living with HIV/AIDS, but only 15,370 registered

Viral hepatitis’ cases also witnessed a decrease of 26 per cent to 48,648 cases from 65,750 in 2015. The highest number of viral hepatitis cases was reported from Swat with 8,689 patients, followed by 7,962 from Charsadda and 4,949 cases from Chitral in 2016.

The health facilities reported that around 9,647 people were found positive for Hepatitis-C and 12,824 for Hepatitis-B. The DHIS report read that Nowshera had the highest number of Hepatitis-C patients with 2,745 cases, followed by Mardan with 2,441 and Swat with 1,305.

It stated that 4,503 patients, out of 12,824, tested positive for Hepatitis-B. They belonged to Mardan, followed by 3,280 from Swat and 2,546 from Nowshera.

Patients suffering from Acute (upper) Respiratory Infections (ARI) were the highest in number. However, the total volume of ARI patients reduced by 16 per cent to 3.16 million in 2016 as against 3.79 million in 2015.

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