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19-Year Old Mother Gets HIV From Andhra Blood Bank, Demands Justice

Hyderabad, Feb 27: Can you imagine the pain of a mother who is scared of breast feeding her baby boy for fear of endangering his life for sure?A 19-year old mother, Sheikh Haseena, got infected

PTI [ Updated: February 27, 2012 12:35 IST ]
19 year old mother gets hiv from andhra blood bank demands
19 year old mother gets hiv from andhra blood bank demands justice

Hyderabad, Feb 27: Can you imagine the pain of a mother who is scared of breast feeding her baby boy for fear of endangering his life for sure?


A 19-year old mother, Sheikh Haseena, got infected with HIV after being ifused with infected blood at a private nursing home in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.

Today the teenage mother is completely helpless.

She has been abandoned by her husband, shunned by society and neglected by the government.

Now Sheikh Haseena is frustrated and wants justice for herself and her newborn baby Zameer.

After her cries for help fell on the deaf ears of the district authorities she knocked on the doors of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) on Saturday seeking justice.

             

'There is nobody to take care of me and my child. The district authorities have been silent on providing proper healthcare for me,' says Hasina whose husband Nissar, a labourer, dumped her fearing social stigma.

Haseena came to Nellore from Venkateshwarapuram to deliver her baby at a private nursing home on November 2 last year.

The blood tests conducted during the period of her pregnancy and before the Caesarian section surgery were fine.

But she needed blood following the operation and the doctors at the nursing home told her husband to arrange for three units of blood as she was too weak to undergo the surgery.

Nissar went to the local blood bank operated by the Indian Red Cross Society and bought three units of blood which the doctors administered and she gave birth to a healthy baby boy on November 3.

But a month later, Haseena had high fever and started vomiting. She was taken to the same nursing home where the doctors got her blood tested again.

This time she turned out to be HIV positive.

For a second opinion, they referred her to Narayana Hospital, a prestigious corporate hospital in the town where it was confirmed that she was infected with HIV.

A shocked Nissar got his own blood tested but he did not have the virus.

It was then that the doctors at the nursing home suspected that the blood bought from the Red Cross Society's blood bank must have been contaminated.

Following a complaint from the couple to the district authorities and media reports, Governor ESL Narasimhan called for a comprehensive inquiry into the incident.

A preliminary inquiry conducted by joint collector Sourav Gour revealed the blood was contaminated at the blood bank itself.

Subsequently, district collector D. Sridhar ordered the closure of the blood bank with immediate effect.

He also asked the district medical and health officer to seize all records of the blood bank and shift the stocks to the government hospital for inspection.

But the authorities did not take any steps to provide medical care to Haseena and her child, except providing her with a house under the Indiramma housing scheme and 35 kg of rice per month.

'She breastfed her child for ten days but later stopped, fearing that he might get the infection through her milk. As of now, the child is safe,' Muzeer, a relative of Haseena said.

After all this came the shocker. Haseena's husband left her in the lurch and abandoned her. Haseena moved out to live with her mother who ran a tiffin centre but once again the callous world turned its back on her and tiffin customers stopped coming after they learn't of Haseena's HIV infection.

Nissar Ahmed Kakru, SHRC chairman, has finally asked the health department and the Red Cross Society to submit a report by March 15 and ordered the police to register a case against the blood bank.

Meanwhile, the hapless mother is awaiting justice.

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