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Hospital-acquired HIV Kills One Child in Kerala

Rashmi was an 18-month-old baby who succumbed to HIV/AIDS infection that she acquired in a hospital; today almost the whole village mourns her death//.

The infection was acquired in a medical college hospital during a blood transfusion about five months ago .

Rashmi was suffering from a condition of low hemoglobin called anemia and she was taken to the hospital fro blood transfusion. She returned home HIV positive. The hospital denied contamination hence the parents tested themselves for HIV and were found to be negative.

The government has tried to give a job to the mother and provide some monetary compensation to the family, however Rashmi’s loss is irreplaceable and no amount of compensation can bring back the smile of Rashmi. This tragic incidence has shown the flaws in our health system. “We are in deep trauma. The Chief Minister implemented all the promises that he made. But I have lost my child” said one of the relatives.

"This should not happen to any other child. It happened in the blood bank, so at least now steps should be taken to ensure this tragedy does not happen to anyone," said Sasidharan, Rashmi's grandfather.

This is first such reported death in a hospital in Kerala. The government has ordered an inquiry into the whole episode top look into the lapses and restore the confidence of the people of the state.

Hospital acquired infections are not unusual especially with abuse of antibiotics in the community by doctors. However AIDS and Hepatitis infection are the most dreaded of all the hospital-acquired infections. It is hoped that this tragedy will be enough for stricter legislations and proper processes to be set up in running blood banks of the county.

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