Pregnant Woman Death Case: IHRA-Manipur demands 'immediate resignation' of health minister

The incident shows grave violation of human rights and fundamental right to life, said International Human Rights Association (IHRA), Manipur.

The International Human Rights Association (IHRA), Manipur has demanded "immediate resignation" of the health minister over the death of a pregnant woman and her unborn child after she was denied admission by five hospitals in Imphal. The incident shows grave violation of human rights and fundamental right to life, the association said.

The IHRA, Manipur said in a release on Friday that it strongly condemns any organisation or individual involved in the denial of admission or denial to initiate treatment leading to the death of the woman and her child. It is extremely perturbed by how and why such acts of insensitivity and irresponsibility still have place in society, the release stated.

Such acts of indifference can only bring adversities to the society in general and to the state in particular, the IHRA said.

“We therefore demand that the government must take stringent action against the perpetrators. We also demand immediate resignation of the health minister on humanitarian grounds since the incident is a clear portrayal of incompetence and the lack of dedication towards serving the people in the true sense of service,” it added.

The pregnant woman from Puichi village under Noney district, Kanpatliu Kamei, and her unborn child died on August 6 at the entrance of the casualty department when she was brought to SHIJA Hospitals in Imphal, after she was denied admission in other hospitals.

Kanpatliu death case: Demand for Fair Probe

Meanwhile, civil voluntary organisations and student unions have appealed to the enquiry committee formed in connection with the death of Kanpatliu Kamei and her unborn child for a fair probe.

The Inpui Naga Union (INU), the Inpui Naga Women’s Union (INWU) and the All Inpui Students Union (AISU) have in a joint release demanded completion of the enquiry within the stipulated period and to bring out all those involved in the “gross negligence” and immediately suspend all the medical staff, doctors involved in this “gross denial of basic rights”.

The organisations also demanded compensation for the family of the deceased and warned that any influence by any vested party in an attempt to protect any person involved in this medical negligence will not be accepted.

Claiming that the deceased would not have faced such fate if there had been a proper medical facility at Makuilongdi village itself, the organisations appealed to the state government to expedite and check the various health infrastructures in the hills, particularly in remote districts, subdivision and villages.

Condemning the alleged negligence on the part of few government and private hospitals in the state which led to the unfortunate incident, the organisations appealed to the state government to make necessary arrangements for maternity care in all districts and sub-divisions with provision for ambulances in emergency cases.

The organisations also condemned the careless indifferent attitudes of the government and private medical institutions in the state for allegedly denying the right to access to healthcare to the pregnant woman.

The release stated that there is one dispensary for about a population of 1,200 which is not functional and with no medical staff stationed at Makuilongdi village for more than two decades.

Informing that the nearest district hospital, located at Senapati is about 20 km from Makuilongdi village, the organisations also drew attention of the health department to immediately send medical staff at the dispensary.

The organisation also demanded immediate suspensions of any staff posted at the dispensary but who are not available on duty. Further, the organisation also appealed to the PWD to maintain road infrastructure of the villages from Senapati.

The organisations also questioned the reasons the deceased, despite having COVID-19 negative certificate, was denied admission at JNIMS and RIMS, Imphal Hospital, Raj Medicity and Shija Hospital.

Further the organisations questioned why the state has imposed harsh restrictions in the name of COVID-19 lockdown whereby the non-COVID-19 patients are not able to access medical facilities.

Condemning the incident, The Thadou Youth Association (TYA) general headquarters demanded the district magistrates of Senapati and the state government to immediately carry out a probe and take action against the responsible officers and the hospitals. In a release, the association also suggested that communication should be established with other hospitals in case of referral to minimise delay in admission and treatment.

The hospitals that denied admission as well as the state government should compensate the victims’ family, failing which, the TYA along with other civil organisations and the general public will take its own course of action, the release added.

First Published:Aug. 8, 2020, 1:18 p.m.