''AIDS fight in Pakistan suffering from bureaucratic inefficiency''

''AIDS fight in Pakistan suffering from bureaucratic inefficiency''Islamabad, Dec. 1 : As cases of the deadly HIV virus increase in Pakistan, the government''s strategies to counter it are falling victim to bureaucratic mismanagement, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to the WHO, approximately 98,000 people are HIV positive in Pakistan, while some reports put the figure at over 100,000, reports The Express Tribune.

The National Aids Control Programme (NACP) has been unable to organize a lot of its activities due to severe paucity of funds.

The programme, which runs on government funding, was broken down into provincial and federal units after the devolution of the Ministry of Health under the 18 Amendment in June 2011.

Most functions of the NACP were passed on to the provinces but without proper planning causing bureaucratic confusion, the paper said.

The programme has also been unable to pay salaries to its 30 odd employees since June. On October 4, a store-keeper with the NACP Mohammad Razaq, tried to set himself on fire in protest.

Razzaq, 43, who is diabetic, has been an employee of the NACP for 22 years, the paper further said.

The Planning and Development Division (P&D), responsible for disbursing government funds to the NACP, has been delaying the release of funds, as according to it the necessary paperwork is incomplete.

International donors like the World Bank and Department for International Development (DFID) withdrew their support for the NACP in 2010 after the floods, in what is described as a major setback for the programme.

"It is time that we take control of this situation and give due attention to this impending threat to our nation before it is too late," said Dr Quaid Saeed, head of the WHO Blood Safety and Hepatitis Programme.

Dr Saeed went on to state that because of NACP''s inability to manage the AIDS programme efficiently there is a poor record keeping of those affected with AIDS, their location and status. (ANI)

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