Hyderabad: Nine women who underwent a family planning operation at Ibrahimpatnam Civil Hospital in Ranga Reddy district are under observation after they complained of pain in the abdomen. Seven of them are admitted to Apollo Hospitals and two to Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences.Four women died after the surgery which has caused a stir in the health department of Telangana.
The government has set up a five-member committee to inquire into the deaths. On Tuesday, Two females died at Ibrahimpatnam, Ranga Reddy after a family planning operation was performed on them. They were 22-year-old women, Mamatha from Narsaipally and M Sushma from Lingampally.
There were 34 women who underwent a family planning operation in the health camp that was organised on 25 August. The operation was carried out as part of a Central government programme for controlling the population. Young women in the age group of 20 and above participated in these camps. Early marriage leads to early motherhood and those with two children are eligible for the sterilisation operation.
Dr. G. Srinivas Rao, the TS director of health, said, "The post-mortem report is not ready. The department has set up a five-member committee and the inquiry will be done in seven days. Action will be taken against those who are responsible." The other nine women are stable, said Dr. Rao.
What could have gone wrong?
Senior government health officials and doctors said infection is the likely cause of death. Of the 34 women, nine are under observation and four died which means the equipment used on these women was not sterilised properly, alleged doctors.
"Camps have a huge number of women so the operation theatre needs to be sterilised. Was it carried out properly?" asked doctors. The protocol is to sterilise the operation theatre and equipment after each use.
Young women sterilised
The sterilisation of young women is not approved by the medical community as the fertility rate in the state is 1.8 according to the National Family Health Survey. The fertility rate in India has come down from 2.2 to 2.0 in the recent survey. Dr. Manjula Anagani, a senior gynaecologist said 22 years is not an age to get sterilised. "It is very unfortunate," she added.
There is an uproar in the Telangana medical circles as the age of the women enrolled in the camps indicates that the right counselling was not done. While the health department claims that it was voluntary, the ground-level workers persuade women to opt for the operation. The death of young women has led to criticism of government policies and the manner in which they are being carried out to meet the targets.
For the families of the deceased, compensation has been released by the Government of Telangana, ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs, 2 double bedroom home for the family of the deceased and admission of surviving children in residential school.