officials have closed the country's 240 blood banks after at
least four people were infected with HIV from blood
transfusions in a public hospital.
Carlos Vallejos said Thursday the blood banks will be
inspected by a commission that will include officials from
the World Health Organization.
cannot continue,'' Vallejos told a news conference.
''All of Peru's blood banks are being reviewed.''
A Health Ministry
investigation found that Judith Rivera, a 44-year-old
mother of four, was infected with the virus after receiving
blood transfusions during an operation for a tumor in
her uterus in April at a state hospital in Callao,
Lima's port city.
confirmed three other cases, including that of an
11-month-old infant, all at the same hospital. On
Thursday, a 17-year-old boy told local media that he
was also infected with HIV after receiving a
transfusion at the hospital, but the ministry had not yet
confirmed the case.
Jose Cruz, an
adviser on blood and laboratory safety for the
Washington-based Pan American Health Organization, called
Peru's blood banks ''worrying.'' He said that
Peru--along with Bolivia, Colombia, and
Mexico--is on the organization's list of countries
that fail to perform preliminary disease screening of
all blood collected in blood banks. According to Cruz,
the organization's most recent figures show that
almost a quarter of the blood Peru's banks receive is not
Peru fulfills international standards for blood donation
screening. The United Nations estimates that some 93,000 of
Peru's 27 million people are HIV positive. (AP)
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