KARACHI: The Sindh Health Department on Tuesday admitted that it has no plan to stop the spread of the extensively drug-resistant (XDR) strain of typhoid fever in the province.
Sindh Minister for Health Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said that the XDR typhoid has claimed four lives since its outbreak from Hyderabad in November 2016, which later spread to Karachi and other cities and towns of the province.
The Health Department is still waiting for the federal government to arrange vaccines for XDR typhoid, as the province battles the outbreak caused by a superbug.
She added that the Health Department has asked the local governments to improve the chlorination in water supplies, as the disease has spread due to the lack of sanitation and presence of open garbage dumps in Karachi and other places.
More than 5,000 children have been affected by this typhoid strain, she added.
The World Health Organisation has declared the XDR typhoid, which is caused by antimicrobial resistant (AMR) strains of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (or S. Typhi), as a notable public health concern.
According to the global health body, 5,274 cases of XDR typhoid out of 8,188 typhoid fever cases were reported by the Provincial Disease Surveillance and Response Unit (PDSRU) in Sindh from November 1, 2016 through December 9, 2018. Sixty-nine percent of cases were reported in Karachi, 27 percent in Hyderabad district, and four percent in other districts in the province.