3:54 am - Sunday November 8, 2015

8 women dead, 25 critical after Chhattisgarh sterilisation camp

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Organised by the Chhattisgarh government in the home district of state health minister Amar Agarwal, the camp saw 83 women being operated upon on Saturday as part of the annual family planning camp. After the women started complaining of severe pain, they were referred to the Bilaspur district hospital, where eight of the women died.

“Reports of a drop in pulse, vomiting and other ailments started pouring in on Monday from the women who underwent surgery,” said Sonmani Borah, the commissioner for Bilaspur district where the camp was held.

“Since Monday eight women have died and 64 are in various hospitals.” Television footage showed women on stretchers being rushed into hospital with anxious relatives by their side.

The women — all residents of neighbouring villages and most from BPL families — had undergone the laparoscopic tubectomy in just five hours at the camp in Takhatpur area of Bilaspur.

Though health officials denied any negligence, some admit that too many surgeries were perfomed in one day to meet targets.

The government has set up a three-member panel to investigate the incident, and announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh each for the families of the women who died, and Rs. 50,000 for those who are undergoing treatment.

These camps are held between October and February, and women who go through the surgery are paid Rs. 1,400 each.

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