2005-02-10-Pakistan seeks India's Aids help

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2005-02-10-Pakistan seeks India's Aids help

 

Pakistani health workers are to travel to India to receive training in treating people infected with HIV/Aids.

Health officials say they want to tap India's experience in managing people affected by the disease.

Pakistan has less than 3,000 reported cases of HIV/Aids affected people although the actual figure is believed to be much higher.

Arch rivals India and Pakistan have embarked on a peace process for the past year.


A team of five doctors and five nurses will visit the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in the western Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) this month, the manager of Pakistan's National AIDS Control Programme, Asma Bukhari, said.

"After a careful study, Pakistan selected India to train its health professionals because New Delhi had a very high quality surveillance system and good experience in managing HIV/Aids patients," the Associated Press quoted her as saying.

The rate of infection in Pakistan is much lower than India although Ms Bukhari said health officials estimate that as many as 70,000 to 80,000 Pakistanis are infected with the virus.

"We cannot rule out the possibility of an HIV/Aids epidemic in the near future," she added.

Reaching out

In contrast, more than five million Indians are living with HIV/Aids, the second highest affected country in the world after South Africa.

This week India began its first human trials of an Aids vaccine.

Relations between the bitter nuclear-capable rivals have thawed over the past year and both sides have pledged to increase cooperation in a number of fields.

In 2003, a Pakistani toddler who underwent heart surgery in India came to symbolise peace hopes between the nations.

Two-year old Noor Fatima received treatment at a specialist hospital in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.

 

 


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