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Blood Transfusions in India Make Nigeria, SA Top Countries With HIV Patients.

Blood transfusion becomes as figure release by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) shows that no fewer than 2,234 people contracted the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) after receiving the process in various Indian hospitals between October 2014 and March 2016.
The data revealed according to 2015 NACo report, South Africa and Nigeria have more HIV patients with more than two million people infected.
The Indian government said it did not know of these infections in their hospitals in a report to the parliament.
Half of the 40,000 Nigerians who travel to India annually go there for medical treatment, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ajjampur Ghanashyam, has said last year.
Many Nigerians who consider the poor state of Nigerian hospitals travel to India for all kinds of treatment including minor and major surgeries.
Mr. Ghanashyam revealed that 50 per cent of those issued with visa to India sought for medical care while the remaining travelled for business, tourism, training and tertiary education.
These findings were made available by NACO when it replied to a right-to-information (RTI) request filed by activist Chetan Kothari earlier this year.
“No,” was the reply the Ministry of Health — NACO’s parent organisation — gave on August 16, 2016, to a question from Congress member of Parliament and former minister Jyotiraditya Scindia asking if the government was aware that “a large number” of people worldwide had been infected with HIV while getting blood transfusion.
“The limitations of available testing methods while screening blood units for HIV in blood banks as a result of which possibility of HIV transmission during blood transfusion cannot be completely ruled out,” the ministry said in its reply.
India fell 9 per cent short of its blood requirement in 2015-16, IndiaSpend reported September 3, with prosperity dictating availability; Bihar, for instance, was 84 per cent short of its blood requirements and Chhattisgarh 66 per cent short, while Chandigarh was oversupplied nine times and Delhi three times.
NACO disputes the reliability of the data it released, claiming that it “refers to information on self-reported transmission of HIV”, and is “not corroborated by any scientific means to confirm that transmission is indeed due to blood transfusion”.
Blood transfusion is deemed “as an acceptable way of getting infected, rather than others showing bad lifestyles”, said Zarin Bharucha, pathologist and chairperson of Federation of Bombay Blood Banks.
It is mandatory for hospitals to screen donors and donated blood for what are called transfusion-transmitted infections, such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, and malaria. That isn’t always done, and when it is, the chances of ruling out HIV-positive blood are not 100 per cent.
Hospitals short of blood often ask a patient’s family to find a donor. “Not everyone has a donor available, so they might land up getting a paid donor,” said Bharucha. Even if paid blood donations are forbidden (the Supreme Court banned them in 1996), they still take place, increasing the chances of patients getting blood that is HIV positive.

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