New Delhi: A nine-year-old girl getting treated for blood cancer at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in Thiruvananthapuram was tested positive for HIV after a 'botched' blood transfusion process.
On Friday, following the incident, a team of medical experts commenced an investigation.
According to a report in the Times of India (TOI), taking a serious view of a complaint by the victim's father, Kerala health minister KK Shylaja directed constitution of a panel, headed by joint director of medical education (DME), Sreekumari, to probe the matter and submit a report.
The minister said the state government would bear all expenses for further treatment of the girl. The minor was being treated at the Alappuzha Medical College and later referred to the RCC. The state human rights panel has also ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter.
As per the report, the child tested negative for HIV when she was first admitted to the Kerala Regional Cancer Centre. Six months later, the same test has confirmed their worst fear.
Noting a swelling in one of her eyes, doctors decided to carry out various tests; it was then revealed that she had contracted HIV.
"We came here for cancer treatment and are going back with HIV also," her father said.
Kerala Human Rights Commission (acting) chairperson P Mohandas said stringent action should be taken against the hospital staff if they were found guilty. It also urged the Left-led state government to compensate the girl's family, the report stated.
The shocking incident has thrown up disturbing questions about the screening of blood in hospitals across the state.