KARACHI -- Expressing concern over the state of healthcare in the country, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) stated on Tuesday that the year 2019 saw further deterioration in the health sector as there were major outbreaks of infectious diseases across the country, which reported 117 cases of polio.
'Polio remains endemic despite over 100 rounds of the vaccination being carried out in the past decade. Last year, the polio programme seemed to be on the brink of eradicating transmission of the wild poliovirus. In the year 2019, however, as many as 117 cases have been reported (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 83, Sindh 19, Balochistan 9, Punjab 6) as compared to 12 cases in 2018.)
'This sorry state also attracted criticism from international monitoring bodies which observed that there is lack of political unity behind the polio programme,' says a PMA press release.
The association also shared concern on the dengue outbreak and described it as 'vicious this year'.
'Around 50,000 cases have already been reported. This is almost double the number of people infected with the virus in the past decade. This shows the negligence of our rulers, they have done nothing to combat this disease,' it said.
The number of HIV/AIDS patients in Pakistan, according to the PMA, currently stands at 165,000 whereas 9,565 new cases had been detected in 2019.
During the outgoing year, Rato Dero, a small town in Larkana, alone reported 895 cases of AIDS. Of them, 754 were children and 141 adults.
'From April to November 30 this year, about 37,558 people have undergone HIV screening in Larkana, out of them 1,195 have reported with suspected presence of the virulent germs,' it says.
The outbreak of extremely drug resistant typhoid in Karachi and the interior of Sindh, the association says, affected people in thousands.
'It's a serious water-borne infection caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi that spreads through contaminated food and water.'
In addition, there have been confirmed cases of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Balochistan, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab.
'CCHF is widely spreading in Pakistan. The deadly Congo [Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic] virus has 'attacked' Karachi, the...