New Clippings – 1991-1996: The Medical Crisis Continues

New Clippings – 1991-1996: The Medical Crisis Continues

1991

EXPOSURE TO MIC CAN CAUSE CANCER: DR PATEL

from National Mail

18/3/91. Dr. Patel reveals that the exposure to MIC gas is a potential danger that could lead to cancer. He said that cancer takes at least 15 to 20 years to take root. In Bhopal the incident of throat, tongue, lungs and cervix cancer was the highest in the country.

THEIR FIGHT FOR JUSTICE HAS NO END

from the Statesman

1/7/91. Women activists demonstrated outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi, demanding proper medical care so they can at least do their daily work. A doctor testified to the inefficacy of the medical facilities. It is reported that the ICMR guidelines for treating these victims are not being followed. Doctors did not come to the hospitals and those who come at all are severely overworked and have to see 400 to 500 patients in two hours. They carry out cursory examination and treat the first ailment they discovered. Also, medicines prescribed by the ICMR are not being used. Pressure from large medicine companies to use drugs that are substandard prevent the hospitals from using drugs that are cheap and effective. Of the six lakh people who had applied for medical examination, three lakh remain without one.

GAS VICTIMS SUFER FROM SERIOUS DISEASES

from Free Press

16/12/91. The story claims the gas victims residing in the affected areas were suffering from serious ailments like jaundice, gall bladder stones and blood vomiting. At the same time the hospitals meant for the treatment of gas victims were plagued with unhygienic conditions, chaos and menace of the anti-social elements.

1992

CHEMICAL ‘TAXI’ SPREAD BHOPAL TOXIN

from the Hindu

12/2/92. Chemists in U.S. have proposed a new theory to explain the terrible symptoms that still afflict survivors of the gas disaster. However, they say that if the theory is true it will still not be of any assistance to the survivors because the damage they suffered is irreparable. The lungs of many people who survived became permanently scarred, but what puzzled doctors was the diversity of unexplained symptoms in other organs. Which range from the eyes, heart, bones, muscles and gastrointestinal tract. Thousands have impaired immune systems, and many report reproductive problems while spontaneous abortions remain high.

1993

CONDITION OF GAS-HIT WORSE DURING PRESIDENT’S RULE

from the Free Press

21/6/93. Regarding the mismanagement and corruption prevalent in the gas hospitals attention of the government had fallen on deaf ears. Despite reminders to the government the situation remained the same. Victims were being deprived of medicines and other essential treatment at the hospitals meant for the victims. The hospitals had no treatment for TB and patients were being forced to buy medicines from the market at high price.

1994

HEALTH CARE OF GAS VICTIMS INADEQUATE

from Times of India

22/1/94. The International Medical Commission on Bhopal has observed that the health care system for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims has been inadequate. There is no system of proper follow-up and the treatment has been generally symptomatic. The IMCB condemned the Union Carbide not only for its responsibility for the deadly gas leak, but also for its behavior later.

BHOPAL HEALTH CARE INADEQUATE

from the Hindustan Times

25/1/94. The International Medical Commission says that Bhopal’s hospital-oriented delivery of health care was inappropriate for the chronic nature of problems. The Commission found that most of the data collected by the ICMR and others on the Bhopal experience were not freely available. It recommended an urgent review and full dissemination of such data and further information should be collected, and should include an evaluation of the current and long-term effects on women and children.

PROTEST AGAINST IRREGULARITIES IN HOSPITALS FOR GAS-AFFECTED

from Free Press

6/5/94. Activists held a rally to protest the alleged irregularities in the hospitals. They alleged that facilities were only available to those who pay extra fees to the doctors and visit the doctors at their clinics. They also drew attention to the non-availability of doctors at the hospitals during duty hours. They alleged that the government had turned a blind eye towards the woes of the victims.

BHOPAL STRUCK BY WAVE OF ‘CHEMICAL AIDS’

from the Observer (London)

20/11/94. Ten years after the disaster the daily live of the survivors is still dictated by the tragedy. Hundreds of people suffering from the effects of acute gas poisoning queue daily at the government hospitals. Their symptoms include breathing problems, streaming eyes, ulcers, unstoppable menstrual bleeding, tuberculosis caused by the poison-induced collapse of their immune systems. Survivor’s groups claim the numbers of people coming forward with long-term, gas-induced symptoms have risen substantially in recent years.

DISASTER’S CHILDREN CONDEMNED TO CARRY LIFELONG SCARS

from Business Standard

30/11/94. The story is about the situation in Bhopal a decade later. Victims don’t know what is rotting inside them; they cough, are out of breath easily and eyes burn. Although the complaints of people in queues outside the hospitals continue to increase, government agencies like ICMR have shut down 20 of the 22 gas-related investigations. It also says potentially the most dangerous long-term impact is that of psychological impairment, especially in children. It is also possible that genetic disorders and cancers may manifest themselves later.

10 YEARS LATER, CANCER LOOMS OVER SURVIVORS OF BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY

from Asian Age

1/12/94. Cancer is now the latest threat stalking survivors of the gas disaster. A team appointed by ICMR was still studying the long-term effects of MIC. They said the cancerous effects of the gas would take much longer to unravel.

BHOPAL – THE COVER-UP CONTINUES

from Times of India Sunday Review

4/12/94. The reporter claims that ten years later, medical research into the gas tragedy is shockingly inadequate. There is hardly any authoritative scientific work on the consequences of exposure to MIC. Union Carbide toxicologists may have the best information on MIC but they are treating it like a trade secret. Union Carbide insisted the effects of MIC were short-term only, and limited to the lungs and eyes. But this was patently false.

1995

GAS VICTIMS TO HOLD DEMONSTRATON

from National Mail

29/8/95. Hundreds of gas victims will demonstrate to protest against the inadequate health facilities and present a memorandum to the Chief Minister regarding their long-pending demands. They claim the government has not been able to provide proper treatment for the victims. Rs. six crore were alleged to have been spent on medical stores but it was yet to benefit the victims. Medicines were stolen and sold in the black market but no action had been taken to stop this.

17 GAS AFFECTED REPORT DAILY

from National Mail

18/10/95. A decade after the disaster 17 victims were being admitted daily to more than a dozen hospitals in Bhopal whereas the number of outdoor patients per day had swelled to 4000. Gas relief and rehabilitation minister admitted that the hospitals constructed by the government for the gas victims lack various medical facilities.

GAS VICTIMS STILL FIGHT DISEASES

from the Times of India

2/12/95. One-fourth of the gas victims are chronically ill, with diseases of the respiratory, gastro-intestinal, reproductive, musculoskeletal, neurological and other systems. Corneal opacity and early-age cataract are common, and exposure to the gases has made the people vulnerable to secondary infections and the incidence of tuberculosis is at least four times higher than in an unexposed population. A study by the ICMR says that 10 to 15 people continue to die of exposure-related causes every month in Bhopal.

MASSIVE COVER UP OPERATIONS STILL CONTINUING

from National Mail

3/12/95. Massive cover-up operations are still continuing on behalf of the government, with nobody in position to say how long the people will continue to suffer. The outcome of some of the studies by ICMR, were still being kept secret for some mysterious reasons.

1996

DOCTORS STILL LACK DATA ON BHOPAL CRISIS

from National Mail

6/12/96. Twelve years later doctors lack information on everything from the number of casualties following the disaster to the chemical composition of the gas. More than 50,000 are still suffering according to ICMR and most of them are not being treated any differently than the general population. There was no special recognition on the part of the doctors that the ailments were gas related and have a special protocol for treatment. As a consequence many Bhopalis suffer from the after-effects of the gas leak but are prescribed the same treatments as patients who are suffering from normal ailments.

BHOPAL LIVES

from the Village Voice

3/12/96. This story is about the release of the report from the International Medical Commission, twelve years after the disaster. The commission found that up to 50,000 survivors were suffering from partial or total disability. In addition to the widely recognized lung and eye injuries, the report details medical conditions that have never been identified before, such as neurotoxicological effects and post-traumatic stress syndrome.

BHOPAL VICTIMS STILL HAVE NIGHTMARES

from Times of India

16/12/96. The survivors of the gas disaster are suffering from long-term neurotoxicology according to the International Medical Commission. Also, there is a stigma in being a gas victim. Women told the commission about miscarriages, inability to lift loads, breathlessness, poor vision, red and white discharge, bleeding from the nose and children with weakness, blotches on the skin and other malformations, and medicines are not effective beyond a few days.

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