Health minister apologises over HIV transfusion as investigations launched

Minister of Health and Gender Dr Mariyam Shakeela has apologised for the transfusion of HIV positive blood to a patient at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH), in a press statement issued almost fifteen hours after the incident was made public.

The statement said that “as it happened due to the negligence of a staff working at IGMH” the minister and the ministry “apologised with deep grief” to the patient, the patient’s family, and all citizens of the Maldives.

“Given the modern technological resources and tools established at IGMH to prevent such an incident, the ministry accepts that this incident should not have taken place and this sad incident shouldnt be acceptable for anyone. Today is a sad day unlike any other day this ministry and IGMH has ever seen.”

The ministry said that an investigation was launched as soon as it came to the attention of the government and the hospital, and that the employee found to be negligent was relieved of their duties immediately.

“The ministry assures that, after completing the investigation, strict action will be taken against everyone who is found to have been negligent in this,” read the statement.

Stating that “changing the sorrowful result of this incident is not in the power of this ministry”, assurance were given that all necessary steps are now being taken to prevent such an incident in the future.

Concluding the statement, the ministry requested all health service providers to “learn from the incident” and to be more attentive, kind, and dedicated in providing their services.

Speaking to crowds gathered outside IGMH this evening, local media have reported Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik has pledged to introduce a no-confidence motion against Dr Shakeela in the Majlis.

The MDP earlier accused the government of delaying the news of the incident – first discovered eight days ago – to allow for celebrations of the government’s first 100 day achievements.


Maldives Police Service has confirmed that an investigation in to the incident is being carried out in coordination with the Ministry of Health.

The parliament’s government accountability committee will begin it’s own investigation tonight at 8:00pm,  and will  later summon the minister of health and other senior members of the ministry and the hospital.

Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has also announced the launch of an investigation as well as expressing condemnation and grief over the incident.

“This commission calls upon the state to provide special protection and care in accordance to international standards for the person who sustained an irrevocable loss in this incident, and to provide health care of the highest standard for the person,” read a press release this afternoon.

The commission noted that the right to life and right to security and safety of the person of the victim have been violated and requests the government and state to ensure the victim and family are provided with their rightful social protection and are not discriminated against in any way.

Requesting that legal action be taken against all responsible parties, the HRCM also demanded the strengthening of regulations and procedures in accordance with international best practices.

In a separate ‘public appeal’ statement today, the commission called on the media and members of the public to respect the grief and privacy of the victim and family, and to refrain from any action liable to cause further harm and distress by willfully imparting false information.


13 thoughts on “Health minister apologises over HIV transfusion as investigations launched”

  1. If you really regret it, please resign from your post. That is how cabinet members in other countries also show regret and remorse when their departments are negligent in executing their responsibilities and duties to the public. Highly doubt this will happen in Mordiz.

  2. We have seen many incidents at IGMH. I believe that it is the carelessness of the managenent. The quality of the services are not maintained and they have lack of human resources. In this sad situation, the health minister Dr.Mariyam shakeela has to resign.

  3. Resign now because it happned under your watch.

    Resign also because IGMH was always a distater waiting to happen.

    Bring some one who knows international standards of hospital management.

  4. IGMH is a disaster, drug import, transport are disasters. So are politics, parliament, local councils, social community.

    HIV incident is no different to careless drivers slamming into innocent families and killing them.

    Be truthful, to yourself atleast. Each and every single government office administration is on the same level of disfunction, an imminent disaster waiting to happen. Most are angry at their work place. Careless.

    It is what it is. I'm surprised this hasn't happened before. Then again it probably would have!

  5. A technical lapse...plug it. While my heart goes out to the person affected I think it is absurd to call for a Minister's resignation.

  6. Heads must roll starting at the top. This is more than just a technical lapse. This is just the sad outcome of a completely failed institution. Systematic failures have been going on for sometime before this tragedy.

    Budget is also not the issue. Whether you run a billion dollar hospital or a few thousand rufiyaa clinic there are ways to manage them properly.

    Political posturing is all that seems to be important such as boasting about the non eventful 100 day programme.

    We should once again ask the question: what would PPM offer us that the Gayyooms would not do in 30 years.

    As we speak they are trying the same age old trick of siphoning money off Arabs to line their own pockets. Watch out for overseas real estate and other investments by the family and friends.

  7. @ J Rajendran

    Minister should resign. Otherwise there would not be any confidence in the health sector.

    The lab technician should be tried for murder but not manslaughter.

  8. A investigation must be conducted into current standards and practices.

    I strongly believe that such disasters could be minimized in the future if all, the technician Hospital management to policy making politicians take accountably to such gross malpractice.

  9. This mother should get the best possible treatment in the world on IGMG account.
    And, people keeping loosing the confident of local medical standard and spend more money to go abroad.

  10. IGMH has no money. The whole health sector has no money.

    Yameen's regime tries to keep everything secret and put up shows like the fake 100 day programme. The real deal gets revealed through disasters like this, because behind the curtains, there's real trouble.

  11. How would Shakeela or Yameen know what IGMH services are like? They have private medical cover in ASEAN countries such as Singapore. Did Gayyoom ever get treated at IGHM in his long 30 years. Of course not!

    We might as well as go to a fanditha man/woman instead of IGMH! At least you know what you're letting yourself in for in the case of fanditha. In over 40 years, 3/4 of which was ruled by the Gayyooms, the country's health sector has made very little progress.

    Like I said before, when they can go to Singapore and get the best medical care money can buy, why would they care about us? If you ask, the answer will be: there's no budget! Of course not, it's gone to paying their medical insurance, salaries, allowances, holidays, cars, palaces, shopping lists, etc etc.

  12. Nasheed had never visited the IGHM in his life. But i guess its fine and he does not need to be there to improve the services. But he also had done nothing to improve except again robbing the health funds.

    He brought Apolo Hospital Management and gave huge money in advance then let them go with the money . I am sure he must have got half of what he had paid to apolo group.

    Overall, last 100 days, health sector had improved and things started to get into shape and services had improved .

    I guess these improvements that were brought were not being able to digest by some people and that might have resulted in the fateful incident.

  13. these so called technical hot shots don't know the meaning of ''common sense'' and the right way of doing things. They just talk about academic stuff. Just look at how they are maninging ER services, the whole process.


Comments are closed.