Ten women die at mass sterilization camp in Chhattisgarh

Over sixty women fell ill after undergoing sterilisation over the weekend, and ten have now died. The procedures were carried out after a state-run programme that pays women to undergo sterilisation went badly wrong, officials said. Around 80 women had the procedure that involved laparoscopic sterilisation a process in which the fallopian tubes are blocked, usually under general anaesthesia, at the local government-run sterilisation camp, and suffered vomiting and a dramatic fall in blood pressure. It was not immediately clear what caused the deaths but doctors in the state said the symptoms suggest the drugs they were given after the relatively simple procedure may have been the cause. State governments in India often organise sterilisation camps under a national programme whereby women are given Rs.1400 as an incentive to have the operation. Some local governments under pressure to meet targets, also offer other incentives such as cars and electrical goods to couples volunteering for sterilisation. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has suspended four health officials over the deaths, while a police complaint was filed against the surgeon who performed the operations. Singh also announced compensation of Rs.400,000 for each of the families of those women who died.