Report on Kurunegala Cesarean issue on Friday

A report by an expert committee into allegations that a doctor in Kurunegala has rendered thousands of women infertile against their will is due at the end of this week.

RepublicNext learns that Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has ordered the committee to submit the report to him by Friday.

The names of the experts as announced by the Health Ministry this morning are: Consultant Dr. Anil Samaranayake, Administrative Services Officer L. A. Basnayake, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist (rtd) Dr. Lakshman Senanayake, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. U. D. P. Rathnasiri, Consultant in Community Medicine Dr. Sanjeewa Godakandage and investigating officer S. I. Gunawardena.

The allegations, made by the Sinhala language newspaper the “Divaina,” are that Dr. Siyabdeen Mohomed Safi of the Kurunegala teaching hospital had performed thousands of Cesarean operations on women.

The newspaper also said that in doing these operations he had rendered several thousand Sinhala Buddhist women infertile by performing tubectomies.

Since then Police have arrested Dr.Safi and detained him over an assets issue.

Police also invited women who say they were rendered infertile to come forward and make complaints.

Reports say several women who had cesarean operations in the 2009 to 2011 period have made complaints against Dr. Safi to the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital.

One woman who was interviewed by the Derana TV channel said became infertile and also blind after her operation.

Several medical experts interviewed by RepublicNext found the allegations made by the newspaper implausible.

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Professor Hemantha Senanayake head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Colombo University found the charges hard to believe.

“There are at least three members in the Surgical Team and it is almost impossible that they did not notice if this doctor did what is alleged,” he said.

Neither the College of Obstetricians nor the Sri Lanka Medical Association has commented on this issue as yet.   

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