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Defective HIV Testing Kits Poses Serious Health Risks

A noted India-born AIDS researcher in the US says that defective or sub-standard medical kits supplied by the government's National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) for testing HIV in different blood banks and hospitals in India has put a large number of Indians at serious health risk.

Kunal Saha, the researcher based in Columbus, Ohio, was appointed by the World Bank to investigate allegations of sub-standard HIV testing kits being distributed in India.

Now he is all set to expose the scam after having obtained permission from the bank to go public with the findings about "the bogus HIV testing kits supplied by NACO and used by hospitals across India," Saha said.

Saha and other members of the World Bank team discovered that that there was "fraud" in distribution of HIV testing kits that has put Indian patients in serious danger of contracting AIDS from contaminated blood, he said.

Saha is known for his crusade against the medical fraternity in India after his wife's death from alleged wrong treatment. He has now got a nod from Ana Palacio, senior vice-president of the World Bank, to go public with potentially damaging information about distribution of dud HIV testing kits in India.

"In a letter, the World Bank has informed me that they have no intention to restrict me from my ethical obligation (as a medical doctor) 'to safeguard public health' in India," Saha told IANS from Columbus Friday.

"The obligations imposed by the confidentiality agreement are intended to preclude improper disclosure of information obtained in the course of your work; however, they are not intended to restrict your ability to comply with your ethical obligations as a medical doctor to safeguard public health," Palacio wrote.

"I am extremely happy that the World Bank has finally agreed to give me the green signal to go ahead with my findings."

A team from the Department of I
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