posted at 04:50
Author Name: Bhuvan BAGGA
New sight hope for six left blind by India cataract surgery
Authorities have suggested poor surgical hygiene may be to blame for the loss of sight after what are normally considered low-risk operations, in the latest scandal to highlight poor medical care in parts of India. Authorities in India's Punjab state reported 20 confirmed cases of blindness after a medical charity conducted free cataract operations on 157 people in November in Amritsar. Now a special team of doctors dispatched from New Delhi and Punjab state capital Chandigarh say "At least six of the victims could get their normal sight back after special treatment", senior Punjab state government official Ravi Bhagat told AFP. The incident comes just weeks after the deaths of 13 women following sterilisation surgery at a camp in central India. In the case of those having eye surgery, the organiser of the camp has been arrested on accusations of allegedly running the camp without government permission, police said, while the doctor who performed the cataract operations has been been held for questioning. "Our preliminary enquiries have indicated the doctor performed more than 30 operations in a single day," Manvinder Singh, a senior Punjab police official, told AFP. Punjab police were seeking to trace every patient operated on at the camp to ascertain the total number of victims. A government doctor who treated the latest victims on Friday said they had contracted infections after undergoing the cataract surgery on November 4.

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