Chhattisgarh Sterilisation Tragedy: UN Panel Seeks Accountability for Deaths

The UN Population Fund and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) have come out against "any forms of incentives" for adopting contraceptives and sought accountability for Chhattisgarh sterilisation deaths.

Reacting to the deaths of 13 women who underwent sterilisation operation in Chattisgarh, Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the Fund known by its acronym, UNFPA, and Tewodros Melesse, the director-general of the IPPF, said in a statement released here Thursday, "It is critical to ensure the quality of service for all contraceptive methods, as well as the availability of a full range of modern contraceptives, which must always be chosen freely by fully-informed men and women, without any forms of incentives."

The heads of the organizations, which describe themselves as "are strong advocates of rights-based family planning," welcomed the investigations investigations into the deaths, adding, "We call for all those responsible to be held accountable to avoid impunity for those who provide services at low standards."

Meanwhile, after the tragic deaths of 13 women in a series of operations conducted by Dr RK Gupta in six hours in Bilaspur, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent a team to Chhattisgarh for further investigation in the case on Thursday.

While, many women have surrendered to death, over 70 women are still hospitalised following botched tubectomy procedures at the camp.

However, Union Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda has said on Friday that the four AIIMS doctors, who were sent to a mass sterilisation camp in Chhattisgarh after 13 women died, have guided the doctors and helped set proper norms.

Meanwhile, Nadda said, "The thing to be noted is that the sterilisation process was not target driven but demand driven."

However, Gupta has claimed that he is innocent and said, "I am innocent. The health of the women deteriorated owing to the sub-standard drugs prescribed to them following the sterilisation surgery.” He has also blamed the government for failing to control the number of people turning up at the sterilisation camp.

He said, “It is up to the administration to decide how many women would be kept for operation.”

Meanwhile, while there was allegation that the equipments used in the surgeries were rusted, Gupta denied that his equipment was rusty or dirty.

Regarding the allegation that the “rusted equipments” have been used, a team of doctors from AIIMS hospital has reached the place for further probe into the incident.

However, after the incident, the government has taken initiative to ban the bathes of drugs that has been used in the surgeries and all drugs have been sent to a Kolkata laboratory for tests and analysis.

(With inputs from IANS)

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