Chhattisgarh sterilisation tragedy: Death toll at 13, AIIMS doctors visit hospitalised women

Thirteen women have died and forty seven were hospitalised after undergoing surgery for sterilisation at a government camp organised in district hospital at Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur district on Saturday.

Updated: Nov 12, 2014, 16:32 PM IST
PlayChhattisgarh sterilisation tragedy: Death toll at 13, AIIMS doctors visit hospitalised women

Raipur: A seven-member team of doctors from AIIMS, New Delhi, Wednesday visited Bilaspur to attend the victims of a botched sterilisation procedure at a state-run camp which claimed the lives of 13 women and left nearly 69 others ill, some of them critical.

"Whatever treatment is being provided to the victims is good," Dr Anjan Trikha, professor of Anaesthesia at AIIMS, said during a brief interaction with mediapersons after visiting Apollo Hospital here.

When asked about the cause behind the deaths, Dr Tirkha said, "The exact cause behind the casualties can only be established after getting complete reports."

Meanwhile, as the Chhattisgarh government continues to feel the heat on sterilisation tragedy that took place on Tuesday, another such incident came to the fore on Wednesday. Four women have critically fallen ill after after undergoing surgery for sterilisation at a government camp in Pendari area of Bilaspur district, reports said today.

Reports say that 28 sterilisation surgeries were done in one hour by doctors.

Meanwhile, politics has taken centrestage over the tragic incident. Normal life was affected in Chhattisgarh Wednesday because of the shut-down called by the Congress following the death of at least 12 women in Bilaspur district at a government camp for tubectomy.

Schools were shut and traffic was disrupted in the capital as well. Elsewhere, workers of the Chhattisgarh unit of the Congress disrupted the traffic, affecting day-to-day life.

The Congress has demanded CM Raman Singh and state Health Minister Amar Agarwal's resignation.

The Supreme Court today refused to take suo motu cognisance of news reports relating to death of 11 women due to alleged medical negligence in sterilisation surgeries at Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh.

"The Chief Minister has taken up the issue with the Prime Minister. We cannot take it suo motu," a bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said, when a lawyer cited a news report and sought judicial intervention in the matter.

Earlier, 13 women died and 47 are still hospitalised after undergoing surgery for sterilisation at a government camp organised in district hospital at Chhattisgarh's Bilaspur district on Saturday.

Giving details about the incident, District Collector Siddharth Komal Pardeshi said that 60 women were admitted to different hospitals after they developed post-operative complications at a sterilisation camp organised by the government at a private hospital in Pendari village on the outskirts of Bilaspur town on Saturday.

Taking serious note of the incident the Central government formed a five-member panel to probe the case. On request of the Raman Singh led Chhattisgarh government, the Union Health Minister has dispatched some doctors from AIIMS to attend the victims of the sterilisation tragedy.

The state health department has also formed a three-member panel to inquire into the tragedy even as four health officials, including chief medical health officer of Bilaspur, have been suspended by the state government.

The sterilisation camp was held in the home district of state Health Minister on Saturday. Organised under the family planning programme and as part of efforts to ensure maximum participation, each woman undergoing operation was to get Rs 1400 and the health worker bringing them to the camp was to get Rs 200 per case.

Expressing concern over the tragedy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked Chief Minister Raman Singh to ensure a thorough investigation and action against those responsible.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh had expressed anguish over the incident. He also visited the victims who were undergoing treatment at the Apollo hospital here.

The Health Department has decided to provide Rs 4 Lakh to deceased women's family and medical assistance along with Rs 50,000 to all patients.

At least 85 women were operated upon at the government-run Nemi Chand hospital in the Pendari area of Bilaspur as part of a family planning camp. Many of them later started complaining of pain and fever.

Reacting to the incident, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi conveyed their condolences to family members of those who lost their near ones and prayed for recovery of those undergoing treatment.

Rahul demanded Chhattisgarh government to take strict action against guilty and ensure best possible treatment for those in critical condition.