116 Suspected HIV/AIDS Cases Reported in Gujrat from December 2010 to August this year

ISLAMABAD, November 21: Out of the 118 suspected HIV/AIDS cases reported in state-run health offices from December 2010 to August 2011, 116 have been reported in Punjab’s Gujrat district, according to three health scan reports released by Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) on Monday.

The reports are based on reported cases of diseases at government healthcare facilities which were collected during June, July and August this year across Pakistan. FAFEN Governance Monitors visited at least 60 districts nationwide, covering at least 25 health offices in Punjab each month, 11 in Balochistan, 10 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), nine in Sindh and one each in FATA and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

At least 50 HIV/AIDS cases were recorded in the June-August 2011 reporting quarter – all of them in Gujrat district. There were 29 cases in the district in December 2010, 25 in March this year, 12 in April, 26 in June and another 24 in August.

On the other hand, new cases of polio continue to surface. Since November 2010, there have been 12 confirmed cases in government health offices nationwide. Eight of these were reported in the June- August 2011 reporting quarter, three in Killa Abdullah in June 2011 and two in August. In Sindh’s Thatta district, there was a case in each of the three reporting months. Of the remaining four cases, one was reported in November 2010 (Karachi district, Sindh) and another three in April 2011 (one in Sanghar district, Sindh, and two in Nushki district, Balochistan).

Additionally 152 cases of probable poliomyelitis were reported in all months since November 2010 leading up to August 2011 except for May and July 2011. Forty of these were reported in the current reporting quarter – seven in June 2011 (five in Sindh and two in KP) and 33 in August 2011 (in Balochistan).

Cultures taken from patients of probable poliomyelitis are sent for confirmation to the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Islamabad. Until confirmation, all cases are considered probable cases.

Districts in Sindh reported probable poliomyelitis in eight of these months, while those in KP and Punjab reported the disease in three months each during this period. All cases in KP were reported in Haripur district (four in November 2010, and two each in December 2010 and June 2011).

In Punjab, probable poliomyelitis was reported in Khushab district (37 cases in February 2011), DG Khan district (eight cases in February and 10 in March 2011) and Gujrat district (30 cases in March and one in April). Districts in Balochistan reported the disease in August 2011 only – 32 cases surfacing in Zhob district and one in Chagai district.

Cases of acute respiratory infections (ARI) were the most commonly reported set of diseases, accounting for at least 44% of all reported diseases in each month. Diarrhea and dysentery constituted at least a fifth of all reported cases in each of the three months. Other diseases and scabies alternated between third and fourth most common diseases while at least 2% of all reported diseases in each month were cases of gastroenteritis.

As many as 1,769 cases of maternal, infant and child mortality were reported in 63 districts nationwide in June, 1, 661 in 61 health offices in July, and 2,383 in 64 health offices in August.

About FAFEN: FAFEN is a network of 42 civil society organizations working to foster democratic accountabilities in Pakistan. It is governed by the Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability.