Pakistani children infected with HIV ‘exposed to unsafe jabs’

 
Investigation finds children were being treated for ailments that can be cured with pills

Sarah Boseley Health editor
Thu 19 Dec 2019


The virus that causes Aids was spread through contaminated needles and blood donations. Photograph: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty

More than 700 children in Pakistan were infected with HIV, the virus that can cause Aids, through unsafe injections to treat them for conditions such as diarrhoea and through contaminated blood donations, according to an investigation.

Until single-use, safe needles are introduced worldwide, which the World Health Organization says must happen by the end of 2020, experts say oral medicines should be the first choice wherever possible. They call for urgent action to improve infection control, the running of blood banks and the regulation of clinics in Pakistan.

Most of the affected children were given injections with contaminated, re-used needles. They were being treated for ailments such as diarrhoea and respiratory infections for which they could have had pills or medicine by mouth, but the use of injections is widespread and families, who usually have to pay for treatment, are said to have more confidence in them.

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Categories: Asia, Pakistan

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