Chhattisgarh sterilisation deaths: Govt asked to recall spurious drug from state health centres

Ciprofloxacin, the drug consumed by women during a recent sterilisation camp, confirmed that it contained “rat poison”.

By: Express News Service | Raipur | Updated: November 25, 2014 9:05:05 am
Indian women who underwent sterilization surgeries receive treatment at the District Hospital in Bilaspur, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, after at least a dozen died and many others fell ill following similar surgery. (Source: AP) Indian women who underwent sterilization surgeries receive treatment at the District Hospital in Bilaspur, in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, after at least a dozen died and many others fell ill following similar surgery. (Source: AP)

Acting on a petition by the Chhattisgarh Congress, the Bilaspur High Court on Monday directed the Raman Singh government to withdraw the Ciprofloxacin medicine of Mahawar Pharma Ltd from all health centres in the state.

The state government has said that the forensic test of Ciprofloxacin, the drug consumed by women during a recent sterilisation camp in Bilaspur, confirmed that it contained “rat poison”. Thirteen women had died following the operations, that were conducted in violation of all procedural guidelines. One sterilisation was allegedly conducted every two minutes during the camp.

Noting that the medicine was being distributed to other patients also, the court asked the health department to conduct camps in villages and make people aware about the spurious drug.

The directors of the pharma company are now in judicial custody. The Indian Express had earlier reported that even though Mahawar Pharma Ltd has been facing a court case for selling “duplicate drugs”, and that several of its medicines had been banned by the drug controller, the government had still continued to purchase from it.

Meanwhile, the Congress has stepped up its campaign against the government over the incident and demanded the resignation of both CM Raman Singh and Health Minister Amar Agrawal. The party is holding a six-day padyatra from Bilaspur to Raipur. “The government sold poison. Raman Singh must accept his failure and step down,” Congress spokesperson S N Trivedi said.

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