'AIIMS Bhubaneswar not equipped to care for conjoined twins'
The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has issued a notice to the Union health secretary and director of AIIMS-Delhi over a petition that seeks to prevent the shifting of the conjoined twins from Odisha, who were separated after a surgery, from the institute to its Bhubaneswar branch. The petition by SC lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy claims AIIMS-Bhubaneswar doesn't have infrastructure required for the twins' care.
Jaga and Balia were craniopagus conjoined twins
Jaga and Balia were craniopagus conjoined twins joined at the head, which, doctors said, was a very rare occurrence. They were successfully separated after a 21-hour-long surgery by a team of 30 doctors last year. The first phase of the surgery on the twins was performed on August 28, 2017 and the final separation of the twins was performed on October 25 last year.
Odisha government was not "equipped" to treat the twins
The petition said the twins from Milipada village in Odisha's Kandhamal region were likely to be sent back to the state, but the Odisha government was not "equipped" to treat the 31-month-old boys, who underwent a surgery at the AIIMS-Delhi for the separation. It added that the health condition of the twins had to improve further before they could be sent to Odisha.
NHRC has decided to investigate and inquire into the matter
The National Human Rights Commission has now asked the health ministry and AIIMS to submit the facts and information on the action taken on the matter. "You are hereby requested to submit the facts and information on the action taken on the allegations/matters to the undersigned within 15 days of receipt of this notice...by any means of communication."
NHRC had written to AIIMS even earlier on the issue
The NHRC's notice further stated that in case the commission did not receive the reply within the stipulated time, it might exercise the powers of a civil court and issue summons for appearance in person or by a representative before it. Earlier this month, the NHRC had written to the AIIMS director, seeking information on the issue.