India: 11 women die, 62 more hospitalized after being paid to be sterilized

At least 11 women have died and 62 were hospitalized after undergoing sterilization surgery at a government-run mobile health clinic in India, authorities said, CNN reports.

Those killed and injured were among more than 80 women who had come to a “camp” for sterilization surgery in Bilaspur district in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh, said R.K. Vange, chief medical health officer for the area. The women were each paid 1,400 rupees ($23) to undergo the procedure.

It’s part of a decades-long, government-wide initiative to curb population growth in the world’s second-most populous nation. The program is not forced or required, but reproductive health activists say it’s unethical.

The sterilizations took place on Saturday, Vange said. Many of the women developed complications by Monday, with four different hospitals taking in patients.

Six of the dozens being treated were in critical condition Tuesday, according to hospital officials.

District officials have ordered an investigation and the results of autopsies are expected by Wednesday, Vange added.

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