Pakistani American Doctors To Visit Larkana To Help Combat HIV Epidemic

HIV Awareness Project team with Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA), Jinnah Sindh Medical University Alumni and Dow Graduates of North America will be visiting Larkana, Pakistan on Thursday December 26th, 2019.

This was announced by Dr. Naseem A. Shekhani, the current President  of the  Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America.

A press release issued by APPNA says that Pakistan has witnessed a worrying rise in HIV positive patients and disease acquired an epidemic proportion in Larkana, Pakistan. More than 750 people were diagnosed as HIV positive and a majority of them were children. "This incidence has changed the perception of HIV and AIDS, the disease thought to be limited in key population and onto emerging disease in Pakistan’s general population."

Investigations have revealed different suspected contaminated blood sources, contaminated blood donations and reuse of syringes/needles. 1175 people were diagnosed with HIV in Larkana and 80% of them are children under the age of 12.

The doctors' team has decided to visit Larkana district and meet with Primary Care Doctors and patients in an Open HouseTown Hall meeting on December 26th, 2019. The main goal is to understand the need and bring awareness about this outbreak.  The team plans to regroup after the visit and have a joint strategy with all the concerned parties.

The team will comprise Dr. Fizza Gillani from Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island;  Dr. Asimah Qayoom, President of APPNA New England; Dr. Rizwan Naeem Montefiore Medical Center USA, Dr. S Iftekhar Hussain from New England, USA; Dr. Irfan Suleman President JSUAANA, Dr. Mamoona Shaikh, President Dow Graduates Association of North America. The team will be led by Dr. Aziz Soomro, from Westchester Medical Center, NY and who has been instrumental in putting together the medical experts.

"APPNA is committed to this project and this team will continue to work in 2020 and beyond. Pakistan Medical Association,Pakistan President Dr. Tunio has committed to work with the team", added the APPNA press release. 

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