Quacks, practicing without training and professional certification, have been held responsible by the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) for an alarming rise in the number of HIV positive patients in the country.
“Quacks, especially fake dentists, spread the virus by using instruments that were not sterilized. Despite free-of-cost availability of life-saving antiretroviral drugs at government hospitals, mortality ratio among patients carrying the virus is also increasing,” the doctors associated with the PMA said in a statement issued to the media in Wednesday.
“Over 600,000 quacks are currently practicing in the country with more than 80,000 based in Punjab province alone. The government should make all-out efforts to stop the menace of quackery in the country,” the PMA statement added.
It may be mentioned here that an alarming surge in HIV cases has been witnessed in five districts of Punjab province.
Pakistan’s premier daily Dawn reported that 70 to 90 cases being reported monthly at the main government health facility in Faisalabad.
It is worth mentioning here that earlier in June, an international team of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) kicked off an investigation into the sudden HIV outbreak in Pakistan’s Sindh province where over 700 people were diagnosed with the virus in a matter of weeks.
Most of the victims were children.
This followed a crackdown on unqualified doctors as well as illegal blood banks and laboratories.
Till date, at least 17 quack doctors (quacks) have been arrested and over 70 clinics in Larkana district have been shut down.
It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence. However, the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone.