80 women infected with Hepatitis C have died
AROUND 80 women who were infected with the potentially lethal Hepatitis C virus, due to contaminated blood products, have died.
The number of deaths emerged as funding came to an end for their long-running support group.
Positive Action was set up in the mid 1990s, after it was revealed that around 1,000 women who were given contaminated blood products during childbirth were infected with Hepatitis C.
However, the HSE said it will not be providing any more funds to the group, which has offices in Fitzwilliam Square in Dublin.
A letter from Brian Murphy, a HSE executive, said it had made the decision that the continued funding of Positive Action was untenable.
The group received around €600,000 in funding between 2006 and 2011, and has around 720 members across the country.
The HSE has previously taken issue with how the group used some of its funds, including its spending on members' weekends and workshops.
It also questioned the decision to send some of its members abroad to a meeting which was aimed at doctors.
Positive Action insisted that its activities were geared to the specific needs of its members and their families, who had to live with the ongoing health problems caused by the illness.
Hepatitis C can seriously damage the liver and causes the infected patients to suffer from fatigue and other complications. Some of the women have had liver transplants.
A spokesperson for Positive Action was unavailable for comment yesterday.