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Girl dies of HIV, family ostracised

Pratyusha died of HIV at Warangal, when the family carried the body of their daughter to its native village for performing the last rites, none of the relatives and neighbours attended the cremation, reports Ashok Das.

india Updated: Sep 10, 2008 01:15 IST
Ashok Das

Pratyusha died of HIV at Warangal on September 3 —Vinayaka Chaturthi. But Pratyusha was only a seven-year-old. The culprit was contaminated blood at a children's hospital.

But society won't listen to that. It rarely does. Barely a week after their child’s death, Kadari Butchaiah and Komala wish they too had died. For, the couple and their other two children became pariahs in their community. And that, too, after the family got cleared by a government-run hospital.

Pratyusha was given four units of blood on August 4 at the children’s hospital. But as her condition deteriorated soon after the transfusion, tests were carried out, revealing that she was HIV-positive. The blood was brought from two private blood banks in Warangal.

When the family carried the body of their daughter to its native village for performing the last rites, none of the relatives and neighbours attended the cremation. The boycott was total. Even the village shopkeeper or the washer man did not come near them.

It's even more traumatic for Pratyusha's siblings. Since the children in the neighborhood are prohibited from playing with them. they cannot go to school.

“They think we all are HIV-afflicted. I tried to convince them and even showed the medical certificates issued by the government hospital clearing us of HIV. But they don't want to listen,” said a distraught Butchaiah.

Finally, Butchaiah decided to knock the door of the district administration. Although the administration has ordered an enquiry into the incident, Butchaiah says he has no other option but to leave his native village.

Meanwhile, Butchaiah has urged that the hospital and the blood bank, which supplied the contaminated blood, be brought to book. Only after he went on a dharna, the administration constituted a committee of doctors to probe the incident.


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