In April, Pakistani health officials announced an outbreak of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Larkana, Sindh Province.
Of the 26,000 people tested since the beginning of the outbreak, 751 have tested positive (600+ children), according to the World Health Organization.
Of the 751 positive cases, only 324 (43%) are receiving Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) due to insufficient stocks in-country.
Officials say the outbreak is possibly due to unsafe practices of blood transfusion and re-use of injection
needles and syringes, although this is being further investigated.
A WHO team of international public health experts has been deployed to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the current HIV outbreak/upsurge in Larkana. The team includes, among others, pediatric HIV treatment experts, supply chain management experts, laboratory experts, and an epidemiologist.
The team, which is expected to submit its findings by mid-June 2019, has so far met with the provincial and district officials, visited health facilities, blood bank and members of the community. The team is also supporting HIV data cleaning and analysis.
WHO has declared this outbreak a Grade 2 emergency as per its Emergency Response Framework. An Incident Management Team (IMT) has been established at the WHO country office in Islamabad, Pakistan and regional office in Cairo, Egypt.