PESHAWAR: Dozens of inmates in different jails in Peshawar are suffering from dangerous diseases, including HIV AIDS and Hepatitis B and C.
According to documents of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Prison department, 12 prisoners in the various jails of KP are suffering from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). In addition to AIDS cases, 71 prisoners are suffering from Hepatitis C and 25 from Hepatitis B in the jails across the province.
The report which was made public on Monday set alarm bells ringing for the jail authorities and they are now taking more measures to prevent the spread of dangerous diseases. In this regard, it has been decided that test of all the coming prisoners will be conducted and they will be separated if they are diagnosed with some dangerous disease.
The documents reveal that there are three AIDS patient prisoners in Peshawar Jail, two in Mardan Jail and one each in Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu and Timergara (Lower Dir). The report warned that the cases of HIV AIDS among prisoners will increase if due measures were not taken to prevent its spread.
In May, the Punjab government had decided to provide medicines for life-threatening diseases in jails across the province. Patients of life-threatening diseases were confined in 10 jails of Punjab. About 1,000 patients of hepatitis, asthma, skin cancer and AIDs were imprisoned in jails. Medical tests of male and female prisoners would be conducted with modern medical equipment.
Similar measures will have to be taken in jails in KP to stop the further spread of the dangerous diseases.
According to the National Aids Control Programme (NACP) there are an estimated 0.1645 million patients with HIV in Pakistan. The NACP data shows that 24,331 HIV patients know their status and they are registered with the NACP, 17149 HIV patients are receiving ARV therapy and 5,228 patients who inject drugs and are on ARV therapy.
However, experts believe that the actual number of HIV AIDs patients may be much higher than the official estimates. Prevention is the best cure for HIV AIDs as the treatment process is very difficult and expensive.