Hundreds seek help after HIV doctor dies

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The Independent Online
Hundreds of worried women flooded hospital helplines yesterday after a junior doctor who died last week was found to be HIV positive.

In one hospital more than 2,000 babies were delivered in a maternity unit while the doctor, believed to be Dr Olukayude Fasawe, a 28-year- old Nigerian, worked there.

But doctors' leaders yesterday resisted calls for compulsory testing of all healthcare workers before they take up employment, saying it was a "simplistic solution" which would not protect the public.

At the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, where the doctor worked from last August until 4 February, officials said that of the 2,000 babies born, 49 of the births involved Caesarean or other surgical procedures and three other women received gynaecological treatment in his presence.

Only these 52 were considered to be at very slight risk. By lunchtime yesterday 130 women had called the hospital.

Dr Rosemary Geller, Shropshire's director of public health, had a baby in the unit during the doctor's stay.

"The risk is minute, but I understand that Aids is frightening and it is important that we do everything we can to reassure these women," she said.

"At the same time I would emphasise that we have never had a case in this country of HIV or Aids being transferred from a healthcare worker to a patient."