Feb 29, 2012
Rajkot Months after 24 thalassemic children were tested HIV positive after undergoing blood transfusion at the Junagadh Civil Hospital , another eight-year-old thalassemic boy, this time from Rajkot, has met with the same fate.
However, unlike the last case in which parents of the affected children claimed to have procured blood only from Junagadh Civil Hospital, the child in Rajkot was supplied blood for regular transfusion from various blood banks run by the government, Red Cross and private clinics.
Thalassemia Jagruti Manch (TJM), a voluntary group, has promised to arrange for the best possible medical treatment for this class III student, besides running a drive to conduct tests for all thalassemic patients in the district.
“Since the blood was procured from different blood banks over the years, it will be very difficult to find the exact source of infection in this case,” said Mital Khetani of TJM. “However, our priority is to provide the best treatment to the child who comes from a very modest background,” he said.
The child was diagnosed with thalassemia when he was six-months-old. He lost his father three years ago.
His uncle, who runs an auto-rickshaw, was not sure whether to file a complaint against any blood bank or not. “I have the responsibility of two families and parents on me. I do not have time and money for the legal battle,” he said.
The man said that in the wake of the tragedy in Junagadh, a few relatives had asked him to get HIV tests done on his nephew. The first test, done three months ago, turned out to be positive. A second test for verification was conducted on February 16, which too was positive. The child’s mother’s tests have been negative.
Khetani said that in September last year, free HIV test camp was organised by his organisation in Rajkot, where patients from all over Saurashtra were asked to participate. “But the turnout was very low and nobody was tested positive. We soon held a second camp,” he said.
Of the 23 children who were tested HIV positive between January to August 2011 in Junagadh, two have died so far. Another boy was HIV tested positive last month.
While the state government had given a clean chit to the Junagadh Civil Hospital, the High Court had ordered an inquiry by the police into the matter.