Another Bhopal spectre

Published: Monday 30 June 1997

DOCTORS Working among victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy have recently demanded that a comprehensive study be undertaken by the Indian Council for Medical Research to look into problems relating to the reproductive health of the affected people. They reported that the women have complained of the inability to conceive and other gynaecological disorders.

At a seminar organised recently by Sambhavna Trust, a social workers' group, doctors admitted that "there was need for focused research on exposure related long-term gynaecological consequences". M P Dwivedi, former director of the Bhopal Gas Disaster Research Centre, said long-term impacts of the gas exposure included leucorrhea, menstrual irregularity and sterility.

There has been a three to four-fold rise in male infertility among the gas victims, claimed Sashi Srivastava, a gynaecologist. "This is seen particularly among males who had been exposed to the toxic gas in the post-puberty stage," said Srivastava. Several doctors pointed out that these ailments have their root in the trauma suffered by the patients, and that only a proper medical research can establish the link between psychological and gynaecological disorders.

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