Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said governance in Sindh was not only dis-satisfactory but also unsuccessful. The prime minister expressed his views while speaking to a delegation of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) allied parties led by Sindh Governor Imran Ismail. The premier also talked about the health situation in the province where the government apparently remained indifferent to deal with the high rise of HIV.
Sindh govt is not faltering, it has failed: PM Imran
The meeting was attended by Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Kishwar Zehra, Naveed Jamil, Faisal Sabzwari, Khawaja Izharul Hasan, Muhammad Hussain Khan, Hameeduz Zafar, Muhammad Rashid and Grand Democratic Alliance’s Dr Fehmida Mirza, Ghous Bakhsh Mehar, Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Murtaza Jatoi, Safdar Abbasi, Ayaz Palejo, Zulfiqar Mirza, and Ali Gohar from the GDA. From PTI Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms Asad Umar, Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan, Maritime Affairs Minister Ali Haider Zaidi, Saleem Adil Sheikh, Muhammad Aslam Abro, Khurram Sher Zaman, Amir Bakhsh Bhutto, Jay Parkash, Ashraf Qureshi, Ali Junejo and Hasnain Mirza.
He talked about the widespread corruption in the province where the administration has failed to counter it. “Record corruption has been done in Sindh in the last 10 years. There is no room for corrupt people in Pakistan. Nobody will be spared… all will face the long arm of the law,” the prime minister said.
The premier also focused on his political narrative that his party intends to root out corruption to make Pakistan great. “Our agenda is to eliminate corruption root and branch. It is corruption that has deprived our country of development and prosperity. The process of indiscriminate and uninterrupted accountability will continue.”
The prime minister added that the progress and prosperity of the people of Sindh is amongst the top priorities of the government and it would take every possible measure for this purpose.
The delegates in the meeting also briefed the prime minister about the progress of the ongoing social welfare and development projects in Sindh. The attendees of the meeting informed the prime minister about the difficulties they faced in the implementation of the road-map for the development and prosperity of the people of Sindh. The meeting agreed on the appointment of focal persons in the federal government ministries for resolution of issues, concerning Sindh.
Deteriorating health conditions in Sindh
A report by the Director-General (DG) Health, Sindh, Dr. Masood Solangi, on the spread of HIV in Larkana’s Rotodero district has revealed startling facts. According to the report, over 14,000 people in the Rotodero district were screened out of which 534 tested positive for the HIV virus.
Of these patients, 270 were female and 264 male. The age group distribution revealed the most affected age group was 2-5, years with 294 (55.05%) cases, followed by age group 6-15 years with 100 (18.7%) cases.
According to the Program Manager of Sindh’s AIDS Control Program, Dr. Sikander Ali, the prime object for the spread of the virus was the reuse of syringes at local clinics and district health hospitals.
Dr. Masood Solangi further stated that screening is going on at THQ Hospital, Ratodero by SACP. It is feared that more cases of HIV may appear as the screening is going on. Experts opine that since the population is of a larger scale and fake doctors generally do not care about used or new syringes in the local hospital, it may cause a great loss.
“The only good thing about the outbreak has been that it laid bare the multiple flaws in the system,” said a doctor who was one of the first responders to help with the H.I.V. outbreak which has affected nearly 900 children in Pakistan https://t.co/Jqm7WDNEHR— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) October 31, 2019
Health Department and Health care commission with the support of the District Administration has sealed unauthorized laboratories, blood banks, and clinics, which are being run by quacks. “Soon we will Establish HIV/AIDs ART Treatment Center at Shaikh Zaid children Hospital Larkana,” said Dr. Solangi.
Medical experts believe this outbreak has been beneficial since it exposed the lack of awareness and recourses to deal with. “The only good thing about the outbreak has been that it laid bare the multiple flaws in the system that the government with the support of U.N. agencies needs to address,” said Dr. Fatima Mir, a pediatric infectious disease expert working at the Aga Khan University in Karachi. She was one of the first medical workers to help with the outbreak in Ratodero.
“What the outbreak in Ratodero says about Pakistan’s health care is that infection control is poor or nonexistent. Pakistan’s health care system is now trying to integrate infection control as a formal part of the system,” Dr. Mir added.
Zaigham Khan, a development expert who writes a column for the newspaper The News, noted that Pakistan spends less than 1 percent of its G.D.P. on health care and that only one doctor is available for every 6,000 people, mostly concentrated in urban areas. “Pakistan is facing a full-blown public health crisis, mainly rooted in ineffective governance and dominance of special interests,” Mr. Khan said.
Experts believe, until the government in Sindh is serious to deal with HIV cases, the magnitude of the disease may increase in the coming days. It demands seriousness and immediate actions in order to be controlled and eliminated. Unlike the recent days, when Khursheed Shah of PPP was inviting Nawaz Sharif to Sindh for treatment, PPP is expected to take the matter of HIV seriously and must pay heed on policy formation.