Spurious drugs may have caused sterilisation deaths

New Delhi: AIIMS director M C Misra said a probable cause of the sterilisation tragedy in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur could be spurious medicines.

“The doctor who is said to have conducted these procedures has performed11 thousands such operations, so it’s unlikely that was the reason. Those who had consumer more medicine had more reactions than those who had consumed less of it,” Dr Misra told NDTV.

“India needs the sterilisation programme,” AIIMS director said, but added, “Such camps and drives should be institutionalised so that better monitoring and post operation care could be given.”

All 83 women operated upon in one camp and around six at another had fallen sick; 13 of them have died. While doctors questioned the quality of drugs, activists and politicians blamed the steep targets set for sterilisation by the government and the commercialisation of the process.

But Health Minister J P Nadda, who took over from Dr Harsh Vardhan, defended the sterilisation programme saying that there were ‘no targets’ to be completed. He said ‘demand’ for such an operation was pushing for this operation.

AIIMS had sent doctors to help with patients, who recently returned to Delhi.

The director of a drug company, which allegedly supplied sub-standard medicines that were administered to the victims of these surgeries, and his son were arrested.

The state government has also banned all medicines manufactured by the pharmaceutical company.

Under attack over the botched surgeries, Chief Minister Raman Singh on Friday announced a judicial probe in the matter.

Dr R K Gupta of Bilaspur district hospital, who performed these sterilisation procedures on 83 women at a camp at Pendari village, was arrested on Wednesday.

Dr Gupta and other health officers were later dismissed from service by the state government.





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