A UAE court has awarded 652,000 dollars in compensation to a family whose four sons contracted AIDS from blood transfusions at government hospitals, press reports said on Wednesday.
Two of the four children have died from the disease, and the other two are in advanced stages of illness.
The Abu Dhabi Supreme Court ruled that the UAE Ministry of Health should pay 200,000 dirhams (54,400 dollars) for each of the deceased children and 2 million dirhams (543,500 dollars) for the financial and psychological damage caused by the infection of the other two boys, the Arabic-language newspaper Al-Emarat Al-Youm reported.
The paper said the children were all treated for hemophilia – a blood disease – at a hospital affiliated to the Ministry of Health in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi back in 1990. They later developed symptoms of HIV infection, which was traced back to tainted blood used in the hospital transfusions.
The father sued the Ministry of Health in 1994, seeking 10 million dirhams in compensation. The case escalated to the Supreme Court after being appealed at the lower courts.
The ministry has also been ordered to pay all legal fees.
Hemophilia is a lifelong blood disorder that can be managed through regular infusion of a clotting factor into the patient's blood.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid).