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13 more blinded after cataract surgery

india Updated: Oct 16, 2011 14:48 IST

Thirteen more people have lost their eyesight in Chhattisgarh after being operated upon for cataract at a government health camp last month, taking the total number of victims to 24, officials said on Sunday.

"Reports are coming in that the majority of those operated at the camp for cataract have developed swelling and pus in the eyes. The district authorities have been trying to contact them to provide early treatment," a doctor posted at Durg district hospital told IANS.

He said the 13 people who have now complained of losing eyesight were admitted at various Durg hospitals.

On Thursday, 11 elderly people had lost their eyesight after being operated upon by allegedly "ill-trained doctors" at the same camp in Durg district's Balod, some 120 km from here.

As many as 325 people were medically examined and some 50 percent were operated upon at the much publicised weeklong camp that concluded Sep 30.

Sources say the district authorities were under pressure to act against the erring doctors.

The state government had Thursday arranged vehicles for 11 patients to travel from Balod to Raipur to admit them at the state's biggest government hospital -- Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital -- after their relatives and locals protested against the surgeries conducted at the camp.

Durg district collector Reena Babasaheb Kangale has admitted "negligence" at the government camp and asserted that the "administration would act tough against those found responsible".

Amid a rising number of people complaining of losing eyesight, Chhattisgarh health services director Kamal Preet Singh said: "We are investigating the matter as it is a serious issue."

"I will deal with it strongly. Those who performed operations at the camp will be interrogated and tough action will be taken against the guilty."