Medical malpractice results in 12yr old girl HIV positive. How can we prevent this?

February 25, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Reham al-Hakami received a blood-transfusion February 12th in her hometown of Jazan. Reham is a victim of sickle-cell anemia by birth and is now HIV-positive. People have asked who is to blame for this; officially the answer is the Saudi Ministry of Health. Several officials have been fired with people calling for more to be fired every day. This story has become a relative firestorm in Saudi Arabia, igniting the passion of people across the middle east. Open criticism of the government is not a frequent occurrence, but the infection of a child helps to break through social taboos regarding HIV. Extramarital sex and sex in general are dealt with differently in different places. The strict approaches and sanctions regarding sex and marriage in Saudi Arabia create an environment in which many are not comfortable openly speaking about having safe sex or seeking treatment if they have the virus. This political and social climate has somewhat improved of late, but incidents like this are reminders that there are still problems. When I say incidents, specifically there was the case of 14 year old Ryan White who received a tainted blood-transfusion here in the U.S. He passed away at the age of 18, a tragedy that gripped people across the country and prompted a new open discourse about HIV and promoted AIDS Awareness campaigns worldwide. In no way am I making light of the tragedy for this poor young girl, or her family, but it’s important that we see the silver living in all things. This event has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives by changing antiquated social and healthcare policy, introducing much needed humanity to an oppressive regime. Not only this, but like Ryan White, Reham’s story can touch the hearts of people worldwide and communicate the importance of safe-sex practices.


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Franklin Fitch

Studying Sociology at Duquesne University. Automotive enthusiast and craft beer drinker; an IPA a day keeps the doctor away. Cleveland Cavaliers, all for one, one for all. I'm a firm believer in the power of the written word. Contact me or on twitter @DudesNews or If you build it, they will come.

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