Botched sterilisation: Surgeon arrested; Chhattisgarh CM orders judicial probe
BILASPUR: Under attack over botched sterilisation
surgeries at government-run medical camps which have so far claimed lives of 13
young women in Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Raman Singh on Thursday announced a
judicial probe into the incidents.
The surgeon who performed tubectomy procedures on 83
women at a camp at Pendari village in a matter of few hours, has been arrested
and the state's Food and Drug Administration authorities have sealed a
manufacturing unit which allegedly supplied sub-standard medicines administered
to the victims.
“A judicial inquiry will be conducted into the
incidents and those found guilty will not be spared. Whether it is the medicine
manufacturer, distributor or doctors, strict action will be taken,” he told
reporters at Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Science (CIMS).
Singh, who visited various hospitals where the
afflicted women have been admitted, said 138 women on whom tubectomy procedure
was performed at camps in Pendari and Pendra areas are undergoing treatment at
“Of the 52 women admitted to Apollo Hospital, 2 are on
ventilator, 3 are undergoing dialysis and 5 on non-invasive ventilator (NIV)
system, while others are normal. Besides, rest of the women admitted to CIMS
and district hospital are normal,” he added.
Over allegations of sub-standard medicines having been
administered to the victims, he said the samples were being sent to Central Drug
Testing Laboratory in Kolkata and a conclusion could be drawn only after
reports have been received.
A 16-member team of doctors from Apollo Hospital,
Hyderabad, arrived here today and examined the patients. The team will stay put
in Bilaspur till the time those afflicted recovered, the Chief Minister said.
The drug controlling authority sealed a unit of
Mahawar Pharma which manufactures Ciprocin 500 mg tablets used at the camps
where surgeries had been performed.
“A raid was conducted at the drug manufacturing unit
of Mahawar Pharma this morning and after collecting samples of medicines from
there it was sealed,” Controller, FDA, Ravi Prakash Gupta told PTI.
“We have suspended sale and supply of products of the
company across the state and directives have been issued to chemists and drug
suppliers in this connection,” Gupta said.
During the raid, a significant quantity of drugs were
found burnt at the premises and a detailed report will be submitted to higher
authorities in this regard, sources in the drugs control department said.
Chhattisgarh government has already suspended the sale
of Ibrufen-400 and Ciprocin-500 tablets, Lignocaine and Lignocaine HCL
injections and Zielone lotion. All these brands had been used in the
Meanwhile, Dr RK Gupta, the surgeon who had performed
tubectomy procedures on 83 women at Pendari village, 12 of whom died, has been
arrested from a relative's house in neighbouring Balodabazar district.
The laparoscopic surgeon, who is claimed to have
performed over 50,000 sterilisation surgeries in his career, claimed that
sub-standard medicines supplied by the government caused post-operative
complications resulting in the deaths.
“The condition of the women deteriorated after they
were given pain killer Brufen and antibiotic Ciproxin following the surgery.
Women started vomiting after consuming those medicines,” he said.
“We cannot predict the quality of medicines just by
looking at them. The state government is responsible for arranging the
medicines and they should have checked those. Medicines are procured through a
tender process and the lowest bidding manufacturer is preferred,” he said.
“As per news reports, medicines provided at the camp
were not properly checked. Locally-made medicines were supplied. If good
medicines had been provided, this incident would not have taken place,” Gupta
The surgeon said he alone cannot be blamed for the
tragedy and demanded that like him all health officials suspended in connection
with the incident and the Block Health Officer be charged with culpable
homicide not amounting to murder.