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Nature takes its toll on Pakistan; Rainstorm kills 44, injures 200

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#CHINA-CHONGQING-FLOOD (CN*)

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Forty four deaths and injuries to more than 200 people due to heavy rain and storm have been reported from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan on Monday.

Also, strong wind accompanied by torrents of rain caused a lot of structural damage. Areas like Nowshehra, Akbarpura and outskirts of Peshawar witnessed uprooting of trees and electricity poles.

Mushtaq Ghani, Information minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, has declared a state of emergency in all the hospitals of the region. Flights from Peshawar airport have been suspended as the rainstorm is expected to continue.

Seventeen millimeter rain and wind velocity of 110 kmph were recorded in Peshawar. Meanwhile, predictions of the meteorological department say that the situation may remain strained up to 24 hours in Malakand, Hazara and Peshawar city areas.

The injured have been taken to hospitals, though further relief and rescue work is being hampered by the ongoing rainstorm. The army has also sent troops to carry out rescue work.

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Pakistani Doctors Blame Quacks for Alarming Rise in HIV Cases: Report

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN

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HIV
Nearly 40 individual HPV types linked to HIV infection. Pixabay

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has blamed quack doctors practicing without training and professional certification for an alarming rise in the number of HIV positive patients in the country, the media reported on Wednesday.

The doctors associated with the PMA said that the quacks, especially fake dentists, spread the virus by using instruments that were not sterilized, adding that despite free-of-cost availability of life-saving antiretroviral drugs at government hospitals, mortality ratio among patients carrying the virus was also increasing.

An alarming surge in HIV cases has been witnessed in five districts of Pakistan’s Punjab province, with 70 to 90 cases being reported monthly at the main government health facility in Faisalabad city, Dawn News reported.

Earlier this month, an international team of experts from the World Health Organization kicked off an investigation into the sudden HIV outbreak in Pakistan’s Sindh province after over 700 people were diagnosed with the virus in a matter of weeks, most of them were children.

HIV
School girls light candles in the shape of a ribbon during a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign ahead of World Aids Day, in Ahmedabad, India, Nov. 30, 2016. (VOA)

Following the outbreak, authorities launched a crackdown on unqualified doctors as well as illegal blood banks and laboratories said to be involved in spreading the disease. At least 17 quack doctors were arrested and more than 70 clinics in Larkana district were shut down, according to Xinhua news agency.

According to the PMA, over 600,000 quacks are currently practicing in the country with more than 80,000 based in Punjab province alone.

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The association demanded the government to make all-out efforts to stop the menace of quackery in the country.

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN. (IANS)