News Clippings – 1997-2004: The Medical Crisis Continues

News Clippings – 1997-2004: The Medical Crisis Continues

1997

BHOPAL STILL BREATHES UNEASY

from National Mail

2/2/97. Researchers report that the people are still suffering from the aftermath of the gas disaster a decade later. Respiratory problems and lung function is reduced among people who were exposed to the gas. The team said their findings suggested that further studies were needed, as well as controlled trials of effective treatments.

FIFTY THOUSAND BHOPALITES LEFT PERMANENTLY DAMAGED

from National Mail

19/7/97. About 50,000 people affected by the gas disaster have been “permanently damaged” according to a team of physicians. The people were still going to hospital emergency rooms with various types of serious complaints and local doctors were seeing as many as 1500 patients a day. Doctors did not have continuity of medical records and they also did not have records about which medicines the victims had taken and which of them were effective and which ineffective.

AUTONOMOUS BODY TO MONITOR MEDICAL-REHABILITATION FOR GAS HIT

from National Mail

29/9/97. The problems of the lack of medicines, corruption and irregularities in the gas hospitals, and their mismanagement, have been agitating the victims who had demanded a separate medical commission for monitoring the health of the victims. The Chief Minister agreed to the persistent demand of the gas victim’s voluntary organizations to set up an autonomous body to take care of the medical rehabilitation.

GAS RELIEF DEPT. SPREADING MISINFORMATION: SANGATHAN

from National Mail

30/11/97. The Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udhyog Sangathan says that the state government is creating atmosphere for the closure of the Gas Relief Department. Instead of making arrangements for the shortage of medicines and other drugs in the gas relief hospitals the department authorities were busy issuing misleading statements.

1998

STRESS ON AWARENESS ABOUT RATIONAL DRUG USE

from National Mail

7/10/98. A workshop on rational drug use was held by a voluntary health organization. A study showed that out of 3582 prescriptions assessed from clinics of private and government doctors, 19% had irrational, 47% had unnecessary, and 11% hazardous drugs. In 24% of cases there was no need of injections. It was stated that it was important for consumers to be made aware of the drug scenario.

GYNAE DISORDERS SHOW IN BHOPAL VICTIMS

from the Tribune

2/12/98. Doctors in the city are reporting a high and continuing incidence of gynecological disorders in women who survived the gas disaster, a trend which is having disturbing social consequences. Families are finding it difficult to marry off their daughters because of fears of long-term illness and sterility. The situation is also having serious repercussion on the mental health of the women.

BHOPAL GAS VICTIMS STAGE DEMONSTRATION

from The Hindu

4/12/98. Survivors of the Bhopal disaster held a demonstration in Delhi to mark the 14th year of the tragedy. The protesters demanded among other things, a comprehensive health care plan to ensure proper treatment through suitable infrastructure. They said the situation was no better, if not worse, than it was the day after the disaster.

GAS VICTIMS PROTEST MISMANAGEMENT IN GAS RELEIF HOSPITALS

from National Mail

16/5/98. A number of gas victims took out a rally protesting against mismanagement in gas relief hospitals. They also alleged round the year shortage of life saving drugs, late coming of doctors and paralyzed pathology and other departments.

1999

GAS VICTIMS RUNNING FROM PILLAR TO POST FOR TREATMENT

from National Mail

18/5/99. The Bhopal Gas Pidit Mahila Udyog Sangathan charged that the government hospitals and clinics, particularly those meant for the gas victims were not only neglecting the victims but also harassing them.

LONG-TERM EFFECT OF GAS TRAGEDY HIGHLIGHTED

from National Mail

2/12/99. Fifteen years after the disaster several speakers participate in a symposium about the long-term grave consequences of the gas tragedy. The speakers stressed the need for objective assessment with the view that victims are still suffering from miseries. One doctor said that the gas leaked caused maximum damage to lungs of the gas victim. He regretted that sodium thiosulphate injections were not allowed to be used on the patients as a part of sinister conspiracy. Another doctor said even the next generation is going to suffer the miseries of the tragedy.

HEALTH PROBLEMS CONTINUE TO PLAGUE GAS LEAK VICTIMS

from The Hindu

4/12/99. Respiratory and neurological disorders continue to plague survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy, mainly due to lack of medical facilities and inadequate attention. Survivors still suffer from breathlessness, persistent cough, menstrual irregularities, blurred vision, neurological disorder, fatigue, weakness, anxiety and depression. The results of clinical studies show that many patients will require specialized medicare for years and some for their entire lifetime.

2000

HIGH USE OF ADDCTIVE, DOUBTFUL DRUGS AT UNION CARBIDE HOSPITAL

from the Chronicle

5/3/00. A report from the International Medical Commission expressed concern over the prescription of Corex, an opium derivative, over a prolonged period. In some cases at Union Carbide funded dispensaries it was prescribed for up to ten months which is long enough for addiction to develop. Also, basic medical examinations for respiratory diseases common in survivors like asthma and tuberculosis were very frequently neglected, leading to the possibility of the prescription of the this opium derivative as an expectorant for a long period.

HARD TIMES AHEAD FOR BHOPAL GAS VICTIMS

from The Hindu

1/10/00. A doctor at Gandhi Medical College projected that an abnormal increase in cases of malignancy and mutogenic disorders by the year 2001 and after could be one the long-term effects of MIC as it takes approximately 17 years for malignancy to develop. Victim’s body tissues do not receive adequate oxygen; this damage is irreversible and leads to mutogenic changes and changes in the DNA structure.

MISERIES OF GAS SURVIVORS CONTINUE

from the Chronicle

2/12/00. An ICMR report found that almost one-fourth of the exposed population experiences chronic illnesses connected to the diseases of the respiratory, gastro-intestinal, reproductive, musculo-skeletal, neurological and other systems, as well as an increased vulnerability to secondary infections. Although doctors involved with exposed persons note an increase in tuberculosis, cancers and infertility almost no data exists as work on almost all recommended research was stopped in 1994.

2001

GAS VICTIMS STAGE DEMO AGAINST HOSPITAL STAFF

from the Hindustan Times

10/7/01. Disaster survivors, mainly widows, held a demonstration in front of Bhopal Memorial Hospital to protest the lack of services for them. The problems they referred to included difficulty getting the card which entitles them to treatment at the hospital, poor quality of construction, and massive corruption.

BHOPAL MEMORIAL HOSPITAL FAILED GAS VICTIMS

from the Hindustan Times

14/9/01. A survivors group addressing a press conference after staging a demonstration to press for their demands said that Bhopal Memorial Hospital had provided services to patients other than gas victims, and often demanded advanced payment for treatment even though a Supreme Court verdict compelled the hospital to provide treatment to gas victims for free. Also, specialty treatments planned have not yet started.

BHOPAL GAS TRAGEDY VICTIMS CONTINUE TO SUFFER IN SILENCE

from the Times of India

27/11/01. On the 17th anniversary of the disaster none of the three super-specialty hospitals planned to be completed by 1995 were ready, resulting in the refusal of funds for the next phase of the rehabilitation program. 30,000 people have died from various disorders, and many are disabled otherwise and continue to suffer.

THE CONTINUING MEDICAL DISASTER IN BHOPAL

from the Hindu

3/12/01. On the 17th anniversary of the disaster volunteers associated with different action groups including Greenpeace organized a protest demonstration near the Carbide plant urging Dow Chemical and the Indian government to stop the medical disaster in Bhopal. Activists were annoyed at the corruption in the government’s medical relief initiative.

2002

THE TRAGEDY CONTINUES

from the Tribune

17/2/02. A Fact Finding Mission on Bhopal released a report on the human and environmental chemical contamination of the toxic gas leak. The study revealed that continuous contamination of groundwater, soil and breast milk presented a serious health threat not only to those currently exposed but also to future generations. These chemicals could alter the normal physiological processes in the human body and have a long-term impact on the reproductive, immune and nervous systems.

BHOPAL GAS VICTIMS: NO END TO WOES

from Free Press

10/7/02. Nearly 18 years after the gas disaster one person still dies daily of exposure related illnesses say experts. The toxic legacy of the disaster continues as persistent poisons in are the soil, water and breast milk with the alarming rise of cancers and congenital problems among children born to exposed people. According to official figures there are over three times more sick people in the exposed population today than there were after the gas leak, and the number of the sick is likely to increase in the coming years as people are still drinking water laced with heavy metals and toxic chemicals.

2003

GROWTH RETARDATION IN MALE CHILD, REPORTS STUDY

from Free Press

11/10/03. The male offspring of parents exposed to the toxic gases are shorter, lighter, thinner, and have smaller heads than sons born to unexposed parents according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association. The study showed growth retardation among children conceived by parents exposed to the toxic gas.

MAKE PUBLIC ICMR STUDIES ON GAS VICTIMS, DEMAND DOCS

from the Hindustan Times

31/1/03. A group of leading medical practitioners today demanded a comprehensive research about the effect of MIC on the victims of the gas disaster. At a press conference the doctors also demanded that the studies carried out by ICMR would be made public. All the doctors seemed to agree that eye ailment, respiratory problems, cancer, diabetes and thyroid disorders are far more prevalent among the gas victims. They also apprised about genetic disorders probably caused by the killer gas.

CONTINUING HEALTH PROBLEMS OF GAS VICTIMS A MATTER OF CONCERN

from the Free Press

31/1/03. Top medical specialists of Bhopal have expressed concern over the continuing health problem of the people who were affected by the gas leak. According to the specialists the gas had affected nearly all the systems in a human body. They said the health status of the survivors should be studied so that appropriate preventive and curative measures could be undertaken. A doctor who has been treating patients since the disaster said that people affected by the gas continue to suffer from various respiratory diseases. They blamed the central and state government for failing to study the effects of MIC on the people.

2004

GOVT FAILED ON MEDICAL REHAB OF GAS VICTIMS

from the Hindustan Times

10/1/04. Gas victims staged a symbolic demonstration at the Indira Gandhi Gas Relief Hospital to protest against the continued apathy of the State Government towards providing adequate medical facilities. They said the Government had failed its obligation in ensuring adequate medical facilities for gas victims. They referred to non-availability of doctors, supply of poor quality of medicines, out of order equipment and routine problems encountered by the gas victims and said that the situation had not improved despite all the protests, requests and even legal action.

GAS-HIT WOMEN STAGE PROTEST OVER GROSS NEGLIGENCE

from Central Chronicle

9/3/04. Over 120 women victims of the gas tragedy held a demonstration to protest the deliberate neglect in research monitoring and treatment of gas-affected women in front of the Indira Gandhi Hospital for gas-affected. The demonstrators voiced their protest over the lack of facilities at the hospital. They pointed out the high incidence of menstrual disorders among gas-affected women and even those born to people who were exposed, however the government hospitals have neither gynecologists nor effective treatment for the range of menstrual problems. Also, there are no facilities for proper screening, diagnosis and treatment of cervical cancer despite scores of women dying as a result of this disease.

GAS-HIT WOMEN DEMAND SAFE WATER

from Central Chronicle

17/04/04. About 200 women from the water contaminated areas demonstrated to demand safe water. A toxic tour had been organized in the water contaminated areas to show different health problems that people are suffering from due to consumption of poisoned water. These health problems include stomach ache, skin rashes, cancer, breathlessness, anaemia, and irregular menstrual problems.

AMNESTY WANTS BHOPAL STUDIES MADE PUBLIC

from Indian Express

30/11/04. Amnesty has called upon the government to release the results of 20-odd research projects by ICMR on the aftermath of the gas disaster. It said the projects, including studies on epidemiology, lung disease, mental health and pulmonary, psychiatric and other effects on children, were discontinued abruptly in 1994 without explanation. Over 20,000 have died and one lakh people are living with chronic illnesses following the gas leak, the Amnesty report said and faults the government of India for failing to fight for the rights of the survivors.

MEDICAL REPORT IS OUT 20 YEARS AFTER BHOPAL

from Times of India

4/12/04. A medical report that took ICMR close to twenty years to finalize, on the health effects of the toxic gas leak, is being released. The report reveals some disturbing figures. Death rates in the exposed areas were higher than those in the control areas and deaths were mainly due to respiratory disorders. Also, the abortion rate was much higher. All of which confirms what activists have been saying: that the tragedy continues to cast its shadow over Bhopal.

Facebooktwitteryoutubemail

Share this:

Facebooktwitterredditmail

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.