Unauthorized cataract surgery in India blinds eight

Eight patients lost their eyesight after physicians conducted an unauthorized cataract surgery camp on a college ground at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh.

Uttar Predesh, India-Eight patients lost their eyesight after physicians conducted an unauthorized cataract surgery camp on a college ground at Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh and sent patients home without follow-up, officials said.

Kanpur-based Maa Vaishnavi Chikitsa Sansthan, a non- governmental organization (NGO) brought in qualified physicians, according to officials. The government made arrangements to pay 700 rupees to the NGO for each operation to take place on Jan. 12 at the primary health center at Trivediganj.

"But they set up the camp at an intermediate college ground without any authorization," said Uma Kant Gupta, district chief medical officer. "They neither informed this office nor the medical officer at Trivediganj."

The NGO spokesperson Surendra Singh said there had been no medical negligence. "We had organized the camp with all good intentions, but the villagers . . . failed to take postoperative care despite us telling them repeatedly to do so," he said.

A case of criminal negligence has been registered against the NGO. "We will take action on the basis of what emerges out of the probe," said Praveen Kumar, senior superintendent of police, Barabanki.