Eleven lose sight after surgery at government camp

At least 11 elderly people have lost their eyesight in Chhattisgarh after they were operated upon for cataract at a much publicised government health camp, officials said Thursday. A probe has been ordered into the incident.

"Eleven people who went for minor cataract surgeries at a government health camp late last month at Balod in Durg district have lost their eyesight days after the operation. They were admitted Thursday to Raipur's Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Government Medical College and Hospital," an official at the Directorate of Health Services here told IANS.

Durg district collector Reena Babasaheb Kangale has admitted "negligence" at the government camp and asserted that the "administration would act tough against those found responsible".

Kamal Preet Singh, director, health services, told mediapersons: "It's a serious issue, I will deal with it strongly. Those who performed operations at the camp will be grilled and tough action will be taken against the guilty."

Health Minister Amar Agrawal has instructed senior officials to look into the matter urgently and provide all support to the affected patients.

Sources said the government had arranged vehicles for patients to travel over 120 km from Balod to get admitted at the state's biggest government hospital here after dozens of relatives and locals there protested for a week against the operations by "ill-trained doctors".

Reports say around 325 people were medically examined and some 50 percent were operated upon at the weeklong camp at Balod that ended Sep 30.

The majority of those operated upon had developed swelling and pus. After patients and relatives demonstrated before the district government hospital at Durg town, headquarters of Durg district, the authorities rushed six men and five women patients to Raipur for medical attention.

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