Rusty surgical equipment and contaminated medication are thought to have caused the deaths of at least 13 women who underwent sterilisation operations in central India.
At least twelve more women are in a critical condition as a result of a government-run sterilization program in the state of Chhattisgarh.
AdvertisementAccording to sources, a case has been registered with the police by the local government, accusing the doctor who performed the surgeries, R.K. Gupta, of causing death by negligence. The doctor has reportedly denied wrongdoing.
Tubal ligation, also known as a tubectomy, is a popular surgery in India, with the government offering financial incentives for women who undergo the procedure in a long-running effort to reduce the nation's expanding population.
Government guidelines stipulate that a doctor may only perform 30 such operations a day, but R.K. Gupta is reported to have performed the surgery on at least 80 women, all under the age of 32, at an abandoned private hospital in just a few hours last Saturday.
Gupta is also accused of having used rusty surgical tools. "Preliminary reports show that the medicines administered were spurious and also the equipment used was rusted," said a local government official.