Fund For HIV-Positive Libyan Children To Launch This Week
A fund to support the HIV-positive Libyan children who allegedly were infected with the virus by five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physician is expected to begin operations this week, Ivan Chomakov, the fund's Bulgarian representative, said on Wednesday, Reuters reports (Winfrey, Reuters, 1/18). The six health workers were sentenced to death by firing squad in May 2004 for allegedly infecting the children through contaminated blood products. Libyan Supreme Court President Ali al-Alus on Dec. 25, 2005, overturned the convictions two days after Bulgaria, Libya, the U.S. and the European Union agreed to establish a fund to support the HIV-positive Libyan children. The agreement did not mention the accused health workers, and Bulgarian officials said that the fund is part of an international effort to resolve the situation (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/17). Although Chomakov -- who also serves as mayor of Plovdiv, Bulgaria -- did not say how much money the fund will provide to support the children, he did say that it has secured between $309,000 and $370,800 to date. Chomakov added that the fund will provide only for medical care for the children and will not serve as compensation. Volunteers, including Bulgarian and E.U. representatives, are expected to meet with the families of the HIV-positive children this weekend to determine the details of the fund (Reuters, 1/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.