Times of India
14 July 2010
By Ajay Parmar
The unfortunate thalassaemic children of Jodhpur keep get–ting infected with deadly diseases like HIV and HCV and the govern–ment is inactive despite repeated reminders by the Marwar Thalas–saemic Society. This apathy has led three more children to die of HIV and 17 more HCV (Hepatitis C) deaths.
This could have been stopped, if the government had taken immediate action and provided the NAT technique for the blood test.
Secretary of the society, Vipin Gupta says after the first test of 80 children in the microbiology lab of the S N Medical College in December, 2008, five were detected HIV positive, 29 were detected HCV positive and two were detected HBV positive. "It was a shocking revelation for us as they were already suffering from the deadly blood disorder thalassaemia," Gupta added.
"After this revelation, we sent many reminders and memoranda from the local administration to the Union health minister but we were ig–nored. Our demand was just to provide the NAT technique at the blood bank of Umaid Hospital as all the children take the blood from there," Gutpa said.
In May 2009, the society submitted a memorandum to the chief minister Ashok Gehlot during his Jodhpur visit but even this not bring any result.
Finally, the issue was exposed in the media in January 2010 when a positive thallasaemic girl died and government formed a committee headed by the director of the Rajasthan State AIDS Control Society, R N D Purohit. In its report to the government, the committee, though did not find any fault with the blood bank procedure, claiming it was in compliance with the NACO guidelines.
It recommended the introduction of Nucleic Acid Test technique to reduce the window period, which was higher in the existing ELISA technique.
When nothing happened, an MLA of Jodhpur, Surya Kanta Vyas raised the issue in the assembly on March 23.
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