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Spread Of HIV Through Tainted Blood Transfusion: PBT Writes To World Bank To Intervene And Compensate Victims

British Medical Journal (BMJ) has reported that according to records obtained from National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), highest government body for regulation of HIV/AIDS, almost 9,000 people have contracted HIV through contaminated blood transfusion over the past five years across India (see BMJ report below). PBT president and noted HIV/AIDS specialist, Dr. Kunal Saha was hired by the World Bank in 2007 by World Bank as part of a team that visited hospitals and blood banks in India to investigate allegations of sub-standard kits approved by NACO and used by blood banks across India for detection of HIV in donated blood. The report of World Bank investigation found evidence of rampant corruption with purchase and supply of spurious HIV test kits used by hospitals and blood banks. A criminal case against Monozyme, manufacturer of sub-standard test kits, is still languishing in Kolkata since 2006. PBT also lodged a public interest litigation (PIL) against NACO for supply of sub-standard test kits posing danger to innocent patients. Despite enormous public uproar, neither World Bank nor Indian authority took any concrete steps to prevent the horrific travesty of HIV transmission through tainted blood. The report published in BMJ shows glaring flaws and corruption that are still continuing in blood banks across India. On the wake of this enormous human tragedy, PBT has written to World Bank president, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, seeking his immediate intervention and urging him to stop funding NACO until they assure safe blood supply in all blood banks in India. PBT has also sought adequate compensation for all victims and/or their families who have contracted HIV/AIDS through contaminated blood transfusion. PBT has also demanded that NACO must accept responsibility and publicly declare the names of the almost 9,000 patients who have fallen victims to this colossal medical calamity. Unless Indian government takes immediate and exemplary measures to solve this problem, nobody in India can feel safe if they need transfusion of blood for any medical reason.

BMJ (March, 2015) HIV Transmission by blood

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • S K Thakur March 11, 2015, 10:56 am

    I am sorry to say that MCI is encouraging the doctors to use blood transfusion even when it is not indicated. One major criteria of judging the overall performance of the hospital is the average no of bottles of blood dispensed per month by the blood bank of the hospital. In my opinion blood must be used judiciously to control spread of HIV infection. The window period should also be taken into account, while collecting blood from any donor.

  • Dr. C Nagaraj March 14, 2015, 11:44 pm

    It is high time we bring in proper guidelines. As regards Blood transfusion is concerned, Australian guidelines are very good and easy to follow. MCI has equal guidelines irrespective of rural and urban setup. India is a vast country and it is difficult to generalise so simply. As regards blood safety, NACO guidelines have to be followed.