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Woman’s death at childbirth leads to political slugfest in Mizoram

The woman allegedly died because she was refused blood transfusions since her husband could not immediately pay for it.

The Congress in Mizoram has hit back at the opposition as the latter targeted Health Minister Lal Thanzara over the recent death of a woman in Kolasib town allegedly because she was refused blood transfusions since her husband could not immediately pay for it.

The death has led to a political slugfest in Mizoram where thousands of people donate blood as a matter of civic duty, sometimes to celebrate certain events. But the government’s recent decision to introduce a Rs 550 fee for blood processing has caused much debate.

Highlighting that Lal Thanzara had promised action against anyone found guilty of medical negligence in the woman’s death, the Congress has sought to debunk the MNF’s allegations of three women having died at childbirth in similar circumstances within Kolasib district saying there was no blood processing fee at the time of these three tragedies. The ruling party sought to discredit the opposition’s attacks by accusing it of making use of the most recent tragedy for political gains.

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The opposition MNF, apart from local media, had earlier pointed out a senior doctor telling a high-level committee that at least three women died during childbirth because their families did not have enough money to pay for blood transfusions.

Matters came to a head on February 14 when Steve Lalhruaichhuaka filed an FIR alleging his wife Babie Zothanpari died at the Kolasib District Hospital on February 3 because she was not given blood by the Kolasib District Hospital in time since he did not have enough money on him at the time to pay for the required three units.

He later said at a press conference in Aizawl that he complained to police because he found out the day before that he was apparently not the only one to have lost a wife in such a circumstance, and that he wished his move would help others like him. He replied to a pointed question saying it made little difference to him that the tragedy was being politicised and all he wished for was some semblance of justice, even if it was only an acknowledgement by the authorities of the circumstances in which his wife died.

First published on: 21-02-2015 at 11:36:33 am
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