Assam town protests blood bank’s HIV ‘mistake’

Guwahati, June 15 (IANS) Assam’s Mangaldai town witnessed massive protests Saturday over the allegation that four people contracted AIDS after undergoing blood transfusion at a government blood bank.

Police cane charged the protestors who had blocked National Highway 52 since morning to protest the district administration’s apathy in not taking action against “guilty officials” of the blood bank at Mangaldai Civil Hospital.

Four people alleged Saturday that they contracted AIDS after undergoing blood transfusion through the blood bank of the hospital. It was discovered later that a professional blood donor was HIV+.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has instituted a probe into the incident and has extended financial compensation to the victims.

“The incident has exposed the status of the health department in the state. Days have been passed but the district administration has not initiated any action against the blood bank and hospital authorities,” said a protestor.

Civil society groups have demanded the resignation of state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and director of Health Services D. Hojai.

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