Between 400 to 500 Adivasis from Munchingput, Pedabayulu and other mandals of the district had been brought to the hospital on June 11 and operated on. (Representational Image/ AP)
VISAKHAPATNAM: Many eyebrows have been raised among medical circles and rights activists over Adivasis undergoing mass family planning operations at Anil Neerukonda Hospital at Sangivalasa in Alluri Seetharamaraju district, about 40 km from Visakhapatnam.
Between 400 to 500 Adivasis from Munchingput, Pedabayulu and other mandals of the district had been brought to the hospital on June 11 and operated on.
Convener of Adivasi Unions and Federations Joint Action Committee Rama Rao Dora said it is against law to take Adivasis to a corporate hospital without informing officials concerned.
Dora told Deccan Chronicle that some representatives from the hospital visited villages and offered them a family planning operation at King George Hospital, along with 5,000 to each person undergoing the operation.
"The first trip took 180 women from Munchingput on June 11 and another 400 from Peda Bayulu the next day. But the surgeries were conducted by junior doctors at Anil Neerukonda Hospital and not KGH as assured," he underlined.
The JAC convenor said it is an anomaly as Adivasis are taken to Visakhapatnam only for major surgeries. FP operations have always been conducted in the agency hospitals at Paderu, Chintapalli and Araku Valley.
Furthermore, he maintained that there is no need for family planning in agency areas, as population density is as less as 30 persons per square kilometre; even as the population of primitive tribes is decreasing.
Paderu ITDA project officer Ronanki Gopalakrishna told DC that he had not been informed of such large-scale family planning operations. "I have asked District Medical and Health Officer and ADMHO of Alluri district to conduct an inquiry into the incident, so that a report can be sent to the government," he said.
DMHO Dr. K. Vijayalakshmi said she too has no information about such mass operations. "If they are only for family planning, they are welcome; since surgeries had been stopped in the agency during last three years due to lack of surgeons. Family planning operations are needed because couples in the agency are having multiple children and even women above 40 are bearing children,’’ Dr. Vijayalakshmi pointed out.
Anil Neerukonda Hospital superintendent Dr. A. Krishna Murty said free OP for all ailments and family planning operations are being conducted at the hospital from June 1 onwards to mark 10 years since establishment of the medical college hospital.
"The programme has been published widely in newspapers. It is not discreet,’’ the superintendent maintained.
Significantly, while hundreds of villagers had been seen in the hospital OP ward and in open ground, Adivasis had been confined to top floor of the hospital, prohibiting interaction with outsiders.