HC Deb 13 June 1988 vol 135 c18
77. Mr. Butler

To ask the Minister for the Civil Service how many anti-AIDS kits have been dispensed by the occupational health service.

Mr. Luce

Civil servants going abroad have obtained more than 6,000 first aid packs from the occupational health service and commercial sources. The packs are used to avoid infection from AIDS and other diseases following an accident, for example, when a blood transfusion may be necessary.

Mr. Butler

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the scale of the problem in sub-Saharan Africa? For instance, in the Congo 100,000 deaths from AIDS are expected in the next 10 years. As so many hospitals have difficulty providing screened blood, should not kits be issued to diplomats as a matter of course?

Mr. Luce

This is principally a matter for my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. There has been much consideration of the matter. A great deal of advice is given to diplomats who are serving in various parts of the world. The provision of these packs is probably the best way to proceed.

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