In a shocking revelation, the state health authorities said medicines contaminated with zinc phosphide, which is used as a rodenticide, could have led to the death of 13 women who underwent tubectomies in government sterilisation camps in Bilaspur district.
“Prima facie it can be said that the condition of the women (operated at camps) deteriorated after consuming zinc phosphide-contaminated drugs. The symptoms witnessed in women were those generally seen after consuming zinc phosphide commonly used in rodenticide,” Principal Secretary of Health Department Dr Alok Shukla told reporters after visiting the affected women here at Apollo Hospital.
Ciprocin-500 tablets manufactured by Mahawar Pharma Pvt Ltd were administered to the women both at Pendari and Gaurela sterilisation camps after their procedures.
During the raid at the manufacturing unit of company in Raipur, rodenticide was found lying there, in which zinc phosphide is used for killing rats, he said.
Samples of the medicine have been sent to Kolkata, Delhi and Nagpur labs for its testing while viscera samples of the women died after consuming the drugs were also sent for examination, he said.
“After receiving all the reports, we can come to the conclusion about the exact cause behind the deaths,” he said.
He further said round 43.34 lakh tablets of various substandard drugs, including antibiotics and pain killers, manufactured by Mahawar Pharma Pvt Ltd were seized from government and private hospitals, medical stores and wholesaler of various districts today.
The seizure includes, two lakh tablets of Ciprocin-500, he added.
“Presently as many as 122 women are undergoing treatment at different hospitals of Bilaspur in which 61 are admitted in Apollo, 37 in CIMS (Chhattisgarh Institute of Medical Science) and 24 in district hospitals,” he said.
Every step is being taken to ensure best medical facilities to the patients, he said.
As many as 13 have died due to botched surgeries at different sterilisation camps held under national family planning programme in Bilaspur, the home district of health minister Amar Agrawal.