In­dia surgery death toll rises

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS -

NEW DELHI: The death toll from botched ster­il­i­sa­tions rose to 11 in In­dia yes­ter­day, and a gen­eral strike was called to protest against al­leged med­i­cal mal­prac­tice.

Tubec­tomies were car­ried out on 83 women as part of a bid to con­trol birth rates at a state-run hos­pi­tal in Ch­hat­tis­garh state’s Bi­laspur dis­trict on Satur­day.

On Mon­day, the women com­plained of pain, nau­sea and fever, after which eight died.

Three more women have died since Tues­day, said dis­trict of­fi­cial NK Tekam, while 59 were ad­mit­ted at the hos­pi­tal, six in a se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

A shut­down was called by the op­po­si­tion Congress Party which de­manded res­ig­na­tions of the state’s health and chief min­is­ter. Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi or­dered a “thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion and ac­tion”.

Broad­caster NDTV showed health of­fi­cials ad­mit­ting “moral re­spon­si­bil­ity” for the deaths. Of­fi­cials said pre­lim­i­nary ex­am­i­na­tions sug­gest the deaths could have been caused by in­fec­tion or shock due to blood loss, but the con­firmed cause would be known only after the au­top­sies.

Med­i­cal of­fi­cers say they were un­der pres­sure from au­thor­i­ties to meet tar­gets and had op­er­ated at twice the nor­mal daily quota of 40 ster­il­i­sa­tions on Satur­day. – Sapa-dpa

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