Lifestyle & Belief

Parents say Indian hospital infected 23 kids with HIV

Parents of 23 children who tested positive for HIV after being treated for a hereditary blood disease have alleged that the hospital where they were treated is guilty of gross medical negligence.

On Saturday, the superintendent of Junagadh Civil Hospital, where 23 thalassemic children were found HIV positive, said that all the children were infected by the virus before getting registered to the hospital, according to the Indian Express.

His comments come as a three-member team led by Regional Deputy Director (Health Department) Sunil Awasia arrived at Junagadh on Sunday. Awasia has refused to comment and said that a report will be submitted to the government in this regard. State Health Minister Jay Narayan Vyas has already given a clean chit to Junagadh Civil Hospital authorities, the paper said.

Parents alleged that the children had contracted HIV from blood transfusions performed at the hospital, the Deccan Herald reported.

The children from various towns of the district suffering from thalassemia visit the hospital twice a week for free blood transfusions, the paper said. 

The Herald quoted Health Minister Jaynarayan Vyas as saying, “When they arrived at the hospital, pre-transfusion blood test was carried out and the report showed that they were positive. So they may have got affected somewhere else since there are multiple sources of transfusion."

However, parents said that the infected children had been receiving transfusions from Junagadh Civil Hospital exclusively for a long time, so their HIV positive status would have been discovered earlier if Vyas' claim were correct.