KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Monday ordered a province-wide crackdown against illegal blood banks and laboratories to control the rising number of HIV/Aids cases.

The CM, taking notice of the rising number of HIV/Aids cases in Larkana, also directed the Health Department to activate the Sindh Aids Control Programme team, according to a statement issued here.

“What are they doing when the Aids cases are on the rise in Larkana division,” he said.

Secretary Health Dr Usman Chachar told the CM that there are around 1500 cases of Aids in Larkana. The recent increase in the cases was being attributed to dialysis machines that was not correct, he added.

Giving details of the inquiry conducted on the Chief Minister’s instructions, the Secretary said Aids Control Programme and Blood Transfusion Authority had jointly conducted the inquiry.

He said that the findings of the inquiry report say that Aids has spread in Larkana due to illegal blood banks and laboratories. The team raided a number of blood banks and laboratories and sealed some of them, he added.

On this, the CM directed the Health department to start a crackdown against illegal blood banks and labs all over Sindh. “I would not allow anybody playing with the lives of poor people. This is unacceptable. Take strict action against them,” he said.

The Secretary said that the other cause of spread of Aids in Larkana is the use of syringes by addicts.

The CM ordered the Excise and Narcotics department to take a strict action in Larkana and other parts of the province against sale of narcotics.

The Aids control Programme must take action and start treatment of the addicts by picking them up from different areas, he said.—APP