15 Elderly Blinded for Life After Surgery in Free Clinic in Amritsar

AMRITSAR: At least 15 people have been blinded after cataract surgery at an eye camp organized in violation of health safety rules by an NGO in Punjab last month.

The people who lost their sight are all above 60 and from the village Gago Mahal in Amritsar.

Around 60 people signed up for the eye camp at a charitable hospital in the Gurdaspur district on November 4. They were given eye drops and asked to report back on November 29 for cataract removal. On removing their bandage, about a dozen said they could not see

The camp is believed to have taken place in “severely unhygienic conditions”.


“Some 6-7 people have been blinded permanently. It will take a week to know whether the sight of the others can be saved,” said Amritsar Deputy Commissioner Ravi Bhagat.

“The organisers violated norms. They didn’t mention what medicines they would use and which doctors would perform the surgeries. We are investigating who the doctors were and whether faulty medicines were used,” Mr Bhagat said.

More people will come for check-up today and officials fear the number of those affected could rise.

An Amritsar civil surgeon is inquiring into the eye camp.

The incident has raised more questions about safety of free medical camps, weeks after 11 women died and 34 more were hospitalised after sterilization surgeries at a government-run family planning camp in Chhattisgarh.

Source: NDTV

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