Women dead after mass sterilisation in India

At least eight women have died and dozens of others are in critical condition after undergoing botched sterilisation surgery, according to local officials.

A total of 84 women, most of them poor villagers, had the operation on Saturday in a hospital outside Bilaspur city in the central state of Chhattisgarh, Siddharth Komal Pardeshi, the district magistrate, said.

The women were sent home on Saturday evening following their surgeries, but scores were later rushed in ambulances to private hospitals after falling ill. By Tuesday, eight of the women had died, Pardeshi said.

“They have all had the same symptoms” including low blood pressure, headaches, breathing problems and signs of shock, said Arvind Gupta, the director of Apollo Hospital, one of the facilities where the sick women were taken.

Sonmani Borah, the commissioner for Bilaspur district where the camp was held, said that “64 women were taken to various hospitals since Monday night”.

NDTV, a privately run Indian TV channel, reported that all of the 84 sterilisation surgeries were carried out in just five hours.

Autopsies were being performed on those who died.

The state has suspended the three government doctors who performed the surgeries, Pardeshi said.

It also will give compensation payments of about $3,300 to each of the victims’ families.