NHRC seeks fresh report on birth control surgeries

Bhubaneswar, Nov 27 : The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) asked Odisha to submit a fresh report in six weeks on the alleged irregularities in a family planning operation camp held in Puri district in February, a petitioner said Wednesday.

A doctor in the district government hospital in Puri, 56 km from the state capital, had operated upon 150 women Feb 10, the petitioner has said.

Authorities left the women outside the hospital, without providing proper post-operation care, Akhand, an Odisha-based rights activist, told IANS.

Akhand also petitioned the NHRC in this matter, seeking action against officials responsible for putting the health of the women in danger.

The state health department, in a response filed earlier, said there were no irregularities, and the women had recovered. It also said four doctors had conducted the surgeries. The patients were under the influence of anaesthesia for a while, and semi-conscious, the health department said.

The petitioner challenged the correctness of the health department report, saying only one doctor had conducted the surgeries.

"One doctor had done more than 150 sterilisation operations in less than six hours that day," the petitioner said.

The NHRC has now issued directions to state health secretary to file a new report in the matter in six weeks.

As per standard operating procedure of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for sterilisation services in camps, the maximum number of sterilisation procedures a team can conduct should not exceed 50, the activist said, adding that at least 20 members of staff are required to be present in a camp which conducts 50 such procedures in a day.

--IANS (Posted on 27-11-2013)

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