Skip to main content

Lack of hygiene, "doubtful" quality of medicines behind 66 Madhya Pradesh patients losing eyesight

By Our Representative
A civil society investigation has blamed organizers of the eye surgery camp of criminal negligence, leading to the gruesome incident leading last month to the loss of eyesight of 66 patients belonging to Barwani and Dhar districts of Madhya Pradesh. The investigation team consisted of Rakesh Chandore, Dhara, Amulya Nidhi, and SR Azad of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan; and Medha Patkar, Devisingh Tomar, Bhagirath Dhangar, and Rahul Yadav of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
The cataract surgery camp was jointly organized by Barwani District Hospital and Lion’s Club, Barwani, between November 16 and 24. It was held under the District Blindness Control Programme, which is part of National Blindness Control Programme.
In all 86 patients from Sendhwa, Silawad, Dhanora, Warla, Chachria, Balwadi, Pansemal, Niwali, Piplaj, Ekkalwara, Kashta, and Dharamrai of Barwani and Dhar districta of Madhya Pradesh were operated upon at the camp.
Doubting the source of medicine, a report prepared by the team said, “Ringer’s lactate solution was used during surgeries, which is usually packaged in plastic bottles and have probability to catch fungus.”
“The patients were prescribed Moxicip Eye Drop (Moxifloxacin), batch number C850127 of Cipla, Zoxan D of FDC Ltd, Atropine Sulphate of Jawa Pharmacy, Biotin, Levofloxacin and Ibuprofen at discharge”, the report said, pointing out that there is no clear answer as to from where “these medicines were sourced from – centrally from Bhopal or locally at Barwani.”
“The government investigation team has not disclosed batch numbers, quality test reports, company names, and procurement detail of drugs, injections and fluids used”, the report said.
Pointing towards negligence, the report said, on the second and third day of the surgery itself, the patients began approaching rural healthcare centres with complaints of burning sensation and pain in the eyes. Some reached the District Hospital, while a few others went to private hospitals. Though they were given some medicines, they got “no relief.”
“On November 18-19, similar multiple complaints of pain, itching and watering eyes started pouring in; despite that, surgeries of new patients continued”, the report said, underlining, “It is beyond comprehension why fresh surgeries were continued even after knowing that things were amiss and earlier patients had caught severe infections.”
When the complaints became acute and widespread, most patients were asked to reach the District Hospital, which – finding things getting complicated – referred to them to Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Science (SAIMS), Indore.
Objecting to this, the report said, this was done despite the fact that, under government rules, in case of emergency, patients should be referred from the District Hospital to the Maharja Yashwant Rao Hospital, Indore, attached with the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, Indore, which has enough specialists.
“What is unclear is on what basis and on whose orders were they sent to SAIMS”, the report said, adding, “It is mentionable that SAIMS has been in the mid of controversy earlier. Around three years back, the state government had attempted privatization and wanted to shift the MYH Hospital to SAIMS under a public-private partnership (PPP) model in the guise of knowledge partnership.”
“At the time of referral to Indore, only few patients had already lost their eyesight”, the report said, adding, “After getting admitted to SAIMS, patients underwent repeated eye surgeries. Of 86 patients, 66 patients lost sight of one eye completely”, the report underlined.
The report noted, “Hygiene of operation theatre was compromised. It needs to be enquired whether separate sets of gloves, instruments and materials were used for each patient.”

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

J&K Governor's rule: BJP's "failure" to go ahead with 44-plus strategy

By Syed Mujtaba Hussian*
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) continues to witness cataclysm of events ever since the killing of editor-in-chief of “Rising Kashmir”, Shujaat Bukhari, followed by the BJP’s deliberated parting of ways with its coalition partner, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and imposition of Governor rule.

NTPC's "poor" track record on workers' safety, whether permanent or on contract

Counterview Desk
A recent report, “The Dark Side of NTPC: A Critical Look at the Social and Environmental Footprints of NTPC”, traces the performance of one of the four Navaratnas which also happens to be a Fortune 500 company, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), pointing out that, while it has played, for over four decades, “pivotal role” in India’s quest for development, this development was energy intensive and has caused “a plethora of negative impacts to people, environment and sustainability over the years.”