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Infection, not just fake medicines, behind 16 Chhattisgarh deaths

December 3, 2014 • Daily Email Recap

Infection, not just fake medicines, behind 16 Chhattisgarh deaths

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NEW DELHI: An independent report has indicated that septicemia – that is infection during or after the mass sterilization surgeries-and not just spurious medicines could be behind the deaths of the 16 women in the Bilaspur mass sterilization botch up.

Demanding an independent inquiry in to the Chhattisgarh disaster, the team found that 85% of the budget for family planning in Chhattisgarh was spent on incentives and compensation for women while only 1.3% was spent on equipment, transport, awareness campaign and staff expenses and 1.5% in spacing methods like oral pills and condoms. The team included members from Population Foundation of India, Family Planning Association of India, Parivar Seva Sansthan and Common Health.

The team found that some of the critical cases admitted at Apollo Hospital showed raised levels of pro- calcitonin that suggests septicaemia. Post mortem examinations of the first seven deaths at the Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Sciences and the District Hospital had evidence of peritonitis and septi foci in the lungs and kidneys, also suggesting septicaemia. “These indicate deaths by infection during or after the operation, and not just from spurious medicines as is being made out to be the case. Further, according to forensic medicine and toxicology experts, the amount of zinc phosphide required to be lethal for women is 4.5 gms, which is much higher than what could possibly have been consumed by the women in 500mg of Ciprofloxacin. This also strengthens the argument that it was not the medicines alone that caused these deaths,” the report said.

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