• Thursday, June 20, 2024

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Infected blood inquiry report to be out today

Thousands of people were infected with viruses such as HIV and hepatitis after being given contaminated blood between the 1970s and early 1990s

Picture for representation only (iStock)

By: Shajil Kumar

A report is set to lay bare on Monday a decades-long scandal in which thousands of people died after being treated with infected blood in the UK.

Tens of thousands of people were infected with viruses such as HIV and hepatitis after being given contaminated blood between the 1970s and early 1990s, the Infected Blood Inquiry is expected to conclude.

A compensation package for victims and their families, which is expected to be worth several billion pounds, is due to be announced on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is also expected to express regret when he speaks in parliament after the report’s release.

Victims included those needing blood transfusions for accidents and in surgery, and those suffering from blood disorders including haemophilia who were treated with donated blood plasma products.

Around 3,000 people are believed to have died, with tens of thousands more also infected, leaving many with lifelong health problems.

Former prime minister Theresa May launched the inquiry, one of the country’s largest, in 2017.

Inquiry chairman Brian Langstaff has previously said that “wrongs were done at individual, collective and systemic levels”.

His report is expected to criticise politicians and health officials and institutions.

Campaigners said Monday was the culmination of a decades-long struggle.

“We feel emotional at the moment in the sense that it’s like a 40-year-old fight, and it’s coming to an end and we’ve come to the end of our energy levels,” said Suresh Vaghela, 61.

He received a contaminated blood product while being treated for haemophilia when he was around 13 years old, and was infected with both HIV and hepatitis C. (AFP)

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