A team of senior doctors reached Barwani in Madhya Pradesh on Friday to verify reports that 32 people have lost their eyesight, or on the brink of it, because of debilitating infections from cataract surgeries at a state-sponsored free eye camp held last month.
Earlier it was reported that 22 people lost their vision after surgery at the camp held from November 16 to 24 in Barwani.
The affected people were referred to MY and Aurbindo hospitals in the city when allegations of botched surgery turned into outrage, with more and more patients complaining of losing their eyesight, blurred vision and irritation from infection.
Officials took up the matter after the chief medical and health officer of Barwani submitted a report to the joint director of health in Indore on Thursday.
“An eye check-up camp for cataract was held in Barwani, in which around 30-35 people participated. Soon after, the people contracted an infection. When their condition deteriorated and were referred to another ophthalmologist, it was revealed that they were on the brink of losing their eyesight,” said Sharad Pandit, the joint director of health, who has ordering an inquiry. “It is unfortunate that this happened at a government camp.”
As days went by, the number of patients with the infection increased and it was revealed that the eye camp was to blame. By the time some of the people approached doctors, the damage was already done.
“Three patients referred to us on November 25 had the same infection. While one could be partially treated and discharged, the condition of the other two is still not stable,” said ophthalmologist Preeti Rawat at MY Hospital.
People losing their eyesight at such camps is not uncommon in the country because of poor hygiene during the procedure as well as post-surgery complications.