Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Fake Doctor Uses Tainted Syringes, Infects 21 With HIV

Fake Doctor Uses Tainted Syringes, Infects 21 With HIV

A fake doctor treating poor villagers in northern India for colds, coughs and diarrhoea has infected at least 21 of them with HIV by using contaminated syringes and needles, a health official said on Tuesday.

The HIV cases were discovered in two rural areas, Premganj and Chakmirpur, in the Bangermau tehsil during screening camps held by the State Health department.

"During a routine screening from April to July, 12 HIV positive cases were reported from Bangarmau alone".

The camps were set up after several suspected HIV cases showed up during routine tests at the district hospitals in Bangarmau town in Unnai late a year ago, he added. Locals reportedly visited a quack who used a single syringe for treatment on everybody, said authorities.

A committee comprising additional CMO Tanmay Kakkar and deputy CMO JR Singh was formed to investigate the incidence of HIV patients in the three pockets. "The accused has been identified and will be arrested soon".

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Subsequent investigations by the health department into the cases revealed that the persons were administered injections through a single syringe in the name of cheap treatment. Of those, 9,100 were children under the age of 15. "A quack who used to move on a bicycle has infected 20 people with HIV", Dohare said. The Indian Medical Association estimated there are 1 million fake doctors practicing in the country despite campaigns by health authorities.

Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Sidharth Nath Singh told reporters that the patients had been referred to the anti-retroviral therapy centre in the nearby city of Kanpur.

India had 2.1 million people living with HIV at the end of 2016, according to a UNAIDS report.

Dr Choudhary continued: "We have lodged a police case against the quack and have started a crackdown on illegal practitioners who are playing with the lives of people".

Locals allege that the quack used to use one syringe for injections on every patient and possibly infected others by a needle used on an Aids patient. "So we are also mapping truck drivers", he said.

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