Botched sterilisation surgeries in 2015-16 claimed at least 113 lives, and the death rate is on par with countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia, the Centre has stated in an affidavit submitted in Supreme Court.
Indonesia and Bangladesh are much poorer than India in terms of per capita GDP and Purchasing Power Parity . The IMF has ranked India at seventh on PPP; Indonesia and Bangladesh are at 16th and 44th positions, respectively. India ranked 130 among 188 countries in 2014 in Human Development Report released by UNDP Bangladesh was at 142nd.
But the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare opted to compare the mortality rate with the likes of Bangladesh and Indonesia and cited studies conducted by organisations in a few Asian countries. “As per (a) study conducted for Asian countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia, the (death) rate is 2-3 per lakh sterilisations. India conducts over 40 lakh sterilisations in a year and the death rate is below 3 per lakh sterilisations, which is similar to the neighbouring Asian countries…,” the affidavit stated.
The government has filed the affidavit following a directive by the bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Uday U Lalit. The Bench sought to know the latest statistics on the exact number of deaths that have taken place in sterilisation camps across the country. It also asked Chhattisgarh government what actions it has taken after 13 women died following botched sterilisation surgeries at state-run camps in Bilaspur.
As per data submitted by the ministry, no death occurred in 2015-16 in Chhattisgarh, which had reported the maximum — 19 — deaths in 2014-15. In all, 140 people died in such surgeries across the country in 2014-15, the government told the court.