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Uttar Pradesh: Police book Unnao quack who infected 46 people with HIV through syringe

Unnao (UP): At least 46 people were found infected with HIV at a tehsil in this district in the last 10 months, after which a quack was booked over the allegation that his use of a common syringe to administer injections led to a spurt in such cases, an official said on Tuesday.

A case has been registered against the quack at Bangarmau police station, the CMO said.

"During a routine screening from April to July, 12 HIV positive cases were reported from Bangarmau tehsil alone. During another screening in November, another 13 cases were reported from the same place," Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr SP Chaudhary said.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

"After noticing the high number of cases, the health department constituted a two-member committee which visited various hamlets of Bangarmau to investigate the reasons behind the spurt," he said.

Dr Chaudhary said the team visited Premganj and Chakmirpur areas of Bangarmau and filed a report, based on which screening camps were held at three places on 24, 25 and 27 January.

"In these camps, 566 people were examined, of whom 21 were found to be infected with HIV," the CMO said, adding in all 46 people were infected with the deadly virus.

He said the investigation revealed that the quack, Rajendra Kumar, living in a neighbouring village, had used a single syringe for injection in the name of cheaper treatment.

"This was the reason behind the significant rise in the number HIV cases," Dr Chaudhary said, adding the patients have been referred to Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART) centre in Kanpur.

ART consists of a combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to maximally suppress HIV and stop its progression. It also prevents onward transmission of HIV, he said.

State Health Minister Sidhartha Nath Singh told PTI, "It was because of the health camps that such cases came to our notice. Based on this, we are finding out what happened... A quack had started this, and police will soon catch him."

SP of Unnao Pushpanjali said, "On the complaint of Dr Pramod Kumar Dohrey, the in-charge of Bangarmau community health centre, a case has been registered against the quack for negligent act likely to spread infection dangerous to life, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means, and Section 15(3) of the Indian Medical Council Act."

The Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (UPSACS), observes that "UP is a low prevalence but highly vulnerable state".

Quoting National AIDS Control Organization's (NACO) India HIV Estimations 2015 Technical Report, UPSACS said in Uttar Pradesh, the prevalence of HIV among adults (15-19 years) stands an estimated 0.12 percent, while the number of PLHIV infection (among adult and children) is at around 1.5 lakh.

The number of annual new HIV infection (15+ yrs) in Uttar Pradesh is estimated at 9,474, it said.

Unnao was in the news in December last year, when the district administration suspended the chief medical officer after reports surfaced that 32 cataract patients were operated upon in torchlight for want of steady electricity supply at a state-run facility.


Published Date: Feb 06, 2018 19:48 PM | Updated Date: Feb 06, 2018 19:48 PM

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