July 12, 2024
KCNA Ministry of Foreign Affairs (EN)

The UK Human Rights Situation Mirrored in Public Health Crisis

Date: 11/06/2024 | Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (EN) | Read original version at source

On May 20, the Infected Blood Inquiry of the UK announced the final report on the worst public health crisis in its history caused by contaminated blood products and transfusions.

The report said that this caused more than 30,000 people to be infected with HIV and hepatitis C from the 1970s to 1990s, and about 3,000 of them died.

Most of the victims were the ones with haemophilia and with similar disorders who had received the treatments imported from the U.S. in the 1970s.

And it has been reported that some of the treatments were made with donors such as prison inmates and drug-users.

The victims also include the people who had a blood transfusion during childbirth, an operation or a treatment. Among them, about 1,250 people were infected with AIDS, and three fourth of these people died.

The major media of the UK including BBC, Reuters and Telegraph quoted in chorus the report and pointed out that the government covered up this fact although it did a great harm to many people due to its oversight.

According to Telegraph, WHO had already warned in the 1970s about the dangers of virus spread through donated blood plasma and had announced the rule to limit pools to no more than 10 people per batch.

WHO also mentioned about the ban on the import of batches made with plasma at that time.

It criticized the U.S. pharmaceutical companies for ignoring the warnings and regulations and setting a limit at 100,000 blood plasma donations per batch. The UK, however, did not invest enough money in becoming self-sufficient in treatment and so imported a large sum of the U.S. contaminated products, it said.

Mentioning child victims, the article lamented that “The treatments were used on 122 children with haemophiliacs in a school of disabled children; 80 of them died as a result of contracting HIV and hepatitis C; The children who should be placed under special protection and care were surprisingly used in medical trials without knowledge of their parents.”

The UK medias contended that although the government could have surely prevented the casualties, it did not put patient safety first.

They also criticized the government for evading compensation and investigation into decades-long treatment disaster.

The miserable human rights situation in the UK seen through the prism of the blood scandal clearly shows that it is quite ridiculous for the UK, the country that does not respect the right to existence-the core of human rights, to frequently find fault with “human rights” of other countries.

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