Over­whelm­ing re­sponse to DTE in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Down to Earth - - LETTERS - Health min­istry to ad­dress is­sue on pri­or­ity JA­GAT PRAKASH NADDA, UNION MIN­IS­TER FOR HEALTH AND FAM­ILY WEL­FARE NCW has asked for a re­port on ac­tion taken LALITHA KU­MARA­MAN­GALAM CHAIR­PER­SON, NA­TIONAL COM­MIS­SION FOR WOMEN

In­re­spon­se­toour­cov­er­story"Oper­a­tioncover-up"(De­cem­ber16-31,2014)on­thedeath of13­wom­en­duringas­ter­il­i­sa­tion­camp­inCh­hat­tis­garh,we­havere­ceived­manylet­ters, in­clud­ingth­ose­fromtheUnion­health­min­is­terandthechair­per­son­oftheNa­tional Com­mis­sion­forWomen I ap­pre­ci­ate the ex­ten­sive re­search un­der­taken by your or­gan­i­sa­tion on the is­sue re­lated to ster­il­i­sa­tion pro­ce­dures, un­hy­gienic con­di­tions at the camps and vi­o­la­tion of na­tional guide­lines on ster­il­i­sa­tion. The is­sue re­lated to the strength­en­ing of pri­mary health­care in­fra­struc­ture, in­clud­ing re­cruit­ment of trained doc­tors, sur­geons and tech­ni­cal man­power, are also per­ti­nent to be ad­dressed. I would like to as­sure that my min­istry would take steps to ad­dress all th­ese is­sues on pri­or­ity and in a time-bound man­ner to avoid such a tragedy that oc­curred in Chhattisgarh, in fu­ture. Ag­grieved by the in­ci­dent, the Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Women (NCW) took im­me­di­ate suo-motu cog­ni­sance and is­sued no­tice to the au­thor­i­ties to in­ves­ti­gate and give ac­tion taken re­port. The state has given de­tails of the legal ac­tions ini­ti­ated against the cul­prits. How­ever, in a broader per­spec­tive, is­sues such as na­tional pop­u­la­tion pol­icy, al­ter­nate and safe op­tions of fam­ily plan­ning, strength­en­ing of health­care in­fra­struc­ture es­pe­cially for women—who are at the bot­tom of pri­or­ity—in ru­ral ar­eas, need to be de­lib­er­ated upon, with ap­pro­pri­ate so­lu­tions and stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures put in place to avoid such in­ci­dents in fu­ture. In this re­gard, we shall ex­plore the pos­si­bil­ity of hold­ing con­sul­ta­tions in the com­ing months with var­i­ous stake­hold­ers, such as NGOs, state gov­ern­ments and MoHFW (Min­istry of Health and Fam­ily Wel­fare), to ar­rive at con­crete and im­ple­mentable so­lu­tions. I look for­ward to your valu­able sug­ges­tions and sup­port.

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