LUCKNOW: A bizarre case of negligence has come to light at a community health centre in Unnao district of Uttar Pradesh, where 50 people underwent cataract surgery in torchlight at an eye camp on Tuesday.
After the incident was reported by the media, minister for health, Siddharth Nath Singh, removed Unnao’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Rajendra Prasad and suspended the health centre in-charge, Devesh Das. He ordered a probe into the lax approach of the district health officials, to be conducted by the District Chief Development Officer, who has to furnish a report in three days.
A non-government organisation had organised the free eye check-up and cataract surgery camp at Nawabganj health centre. At the time of the operations, there was a power cut. Despite a generator being available at the CHC, the centre superintendent did not start it and the doctors began doing the surgery in torchlight. The NGO, too, did not object. After the surgery, the elderly patients were made to rest on the floor.
When confronted, NGO head Atul Sinha shrugged, saying it was not the organisation’s responsibility to ensure power supply during surgery and that the beds had to be arranged by the health centre. The same NGO had been blacklisted in 2007 in a similar case.
The role of the Unnao CMO would also be probed in the case. Dr Shailendra Kumar was asked by the health ministry to officiate in place of CMO Prasad, who was removed after the incident.
In the dark
50 people underwent surgery in torchlight
A generator was available, but not used
Probe ordered against health centre in-charge