In the worst and never-could-be-imagined incident in medical field or life in general has happened in Kerala. An innocent baby girl was made HIV positive after she received blood from the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College blood bank. The news in the Mathrubhumi daily says that the baby girl had a predominantly increasing yellowish colour all over her body after she was born on 28 July 2004. The girl underwent treatment in SAT hospital and there came the fate of the innocent baby written. She received two bottles of blood from the Medical College blood bank on different occasions. Due to long-lasting cough, she underwent more treatments and was confirmed to be HIV positive in subsequent tests. But neither her parents nor her brother was tested positive. This strengthens the lone possibility of the transmission of disease due to blood reception.
I doubt why the hospital authorities had to perform an HIV test on the baby after she had long-lasting coughs. May be she showed other symptoms too. But this incident would raise a lot of ambiguities over the credibilities of blood banks, laboratories and other medical practices including the criteria for the acceptance of blood in blood banks and the tests conducted prior to it. This certainly is a news that should get a lot of attention, not only in India but across the world. It is really disheartening to know about such an incident to have taken place in the state that claims to be the best in the medical care sector in the country. Those who are responsible for such mishaps would escape scot-free, as it is the expected outcome of any such incidents in Kerala or India for that matter. The Director of the Health Department has already stated that she didnt know anything about the incident. Those are the people who need to ensure the safety of the public. They dont even know about such things happening. It comes no surprise as these people are literally blind, deaf and they have already lost their capabilities to sniff out as is evident from the conditions of our Medical Colleges. I have seen damaged toilets, dirty corridors and reeking surroundings at the Kottayam Medical College two years back. The sewage from the toilets were even leaking into the corridors in some blocks which would create nausea for anyone but the hospitals staffs and the helpless patients. The most abominable sight was that of the poor patients lying near it waiting for the doctors turn (‘mercy’ rather) not being able to give the demanded bribe to them. I am sure it wouldnt have changed at all and the case with the other Medical Colleges undertaken by the government may not be any different.
It wouldn’t be fair if I end this post without mentioning about the Mathrubhumi report in a critical perspective. Though the news came in the paper, it was given in one of the inner pages. This type of a news requires some more respect and attention and no doubt it would have created some stir if it were entered in the first page. The regular column Inganeyum Keralathil on the first page could have been moved to an inner page instead. Alas! We still follow the bad practice of giving unnecessary importance to junk news such as the drunken behaviour of the British Princes and the Miss Universes posing on the front page.