The mass sterilisation programme, which was organised in the Malad district of West Bengal last week, saw over 100 women being dumped unconscious in an open field after the operation.
The sterilisation camp was organised in the Manikchak rural hospital on Wednesday and two doctors headed the programme. Around 103 women underwent the ligation procedure at the camp and were then moved to a nearby field as the hospital infrastructure could not accommodate more than 30 women patients.
West Bengal Mass Sterilisation: Over 100 Women Dumped Unconscious in Field after Operation
The program drew wide criticism after medical experts said that the patients should have been administered proper medical attention post the operation to avoid infection. It was said that the doctors asked helpers to move the patients to the field even as they were under the influence of anaesthesia.
"Over 100 women, mostly poor, came to the camp for the surgery. Immediately after the procedure, the doctors asked the helpers to move each of them to the adjacent field," the state's director of health services, Dr. Biswaranjan Satpathi, told AFP.
According to reports, two doctors, Dr Amal Krishna Pal and Dr Joydip Majumder carried the operation along with gynecologist Dr Purnendu Rang, who was called from the nearby Ratua rural healthcare centre.
The program also overlooked a number of health and safety rules, including the one of overstepping the limit of 25 sterilisation procedures per day. The minimum three-hour observation time was also ignored.
Many patients were dumped in the field and some fainted due to the pain. Several others were sent off home in cycle van overlooking their physical state as the hospital did not have ambulance services. In one such case, a patient was rushed into district hospital with serious injuries after the cycle van in which she was being carried collided with a matador.
'We all know there is a severe risk of morbidity during sterilisation and the question whether this has been taken care of or not,' health activist Ratnaboli Ray told NDTV.
After the incident came to light, Malda's chief medical officer of health (CMOH) Bidhan Mishra said: ''We have come to know about the incident. It is not acceptable. We have ordered an inquiry and asked the hospital authorities to submit the report in the next 48 hours,'' India Today reported.
MLA and Bengal's women and child development minister Sabitri Mitra said: ''This irresponsible act will not be tolerated. The CMOH is looking into it and necessary action would be taken.''
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