A decade after a blood-selling scandal was revealed in China, blood has once again been called unsafe by experts, so much so that Zhao Minggang, an official with the Ministry of Health warned that blood transfusions should be avoided unless completely necessary. As if most people opt for blood transfusions out of choice!
So why has something this important been allowed to slip through the health authorities net again? As per usual in China, corruption is at the heart of the problem. This new warning has highlighted the fact that unfortunately even those who are suppose to be caring for us when we are ill and at our most vulnerable will take risks to save money.
The latest slander revealed that the12 patients treated in China’s Hubei province who had contracted HIV after having undergone blood transfusions were infected because the hospitals blood supply had unknowingly been brought from illegal blood suppliers.
Sara Davis, co-author of the report and director of Asia Catalyst told Reuters “The demand for blood and blood products is growing in China, and supply is short. This creates an economic incentive for hospitals to rely on illegal, untested blood donations, and that fuels the spread of AIDS.”
At a time of growing numbers of HIV and syphilis victims across China the government needs to set up compensation funds for those already affected and set up authorities which can oversee the proper and legal buying of blood in China.