Eleven women died and 34 were reported critical on Tuesday after undergoing “faulty” sterilisation surgeries at a government-organised family planning camp in Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh.
Eighty three women underwent the procedure in five hours at the free sterilisation camp, organised by the Bilaspur district health department on November 8, at the Nemichand Jain hospital.
“Around 60 women fell sick after the surgery and were admitted to different hospitals in Bilaspur,”said District Collector S.K. Pardeshi.
“I had two babies in the last three years and wanted to go in for family planning. I got to know the district administration had organised a free camp and I underwent the sterilisation surgery on Saturday. Twelve hours after the operation, I started vomiting,” Deepa Yadav, 22, said.
Sarojini Kewat (26), a mother of four, said she started vomiting a few hours after the surgery while Hemlata Suryavanshi (25), a mother of three, said she developed breathing problems.
Chief Minister Raman Singh visited the victims at Bilaspur hospitals and suspended four health officials, including Health Director Kamalpreet Singh and Bilaspur Chief Medical Officer Dr. S.C. Bhange.
Mr. Singh has ordered an inquiry, besides announcing a compensation of Rs. 4 lakh each for the families of the deceased and Rs. 50,000 each for those who fell ill after the surgery. Health and Family Welfare Minster Amar Agrawal, who represents Bilaspur in the Assembly, took “complete moral responsibility” but said that there was no question of resigning.
Villagers protesting at outside the state health minister's residence against underwent sterilisation surgeries, in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh on Tuesday. Photo: PTI
Unhygienic conditions led to deaths: Congress
The Congress lashed out at the Chhattisgarh government on Tuesday over the death of 11 women due to “faulty sterilisation” in Bilaspur district on November 8.
“Medicines past their expiry date were given to the patients and the surgeries were conducted in an extremely unhygienic place which led to the deaths. This is criminal negligence on the part of the government,” State Congress president Bhupesh Baghel told reporters in Bilaspur after visiting the victims at a hospital here.
Congress leader and Bilaspur Mayor Vani Rao alleged that more than 18 women have died but “the government is deliberately hiding the facts. They admitted patients to different hospitals to conceal the facts.”
Congress workers protested against the State government and demanded resignation of Chief Minister Raman Singh and Health Minister Amar Agrawal and lodged an FIR against the duo at a police station in Bilaspur. “How can they conduct 83 surgeries in five hours when each surgery takes at least 20 minutes?,” asked Mr. Baghel. District Collector S.K. Pardeshi denied the allegations and said the cause of death would be known only after post-mortem.