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Still Bearing the Wounds: Ailments Among Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims Have Surged Over Years, Says Health Centre

File photo: Thick dust covers chemical bottles in a laboratory at the abandoned former Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal November 14, 2014. (Image: Reuters/File)

File photo: Thick dust covers chemical bottles in a laboratory at the abandoned former Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal November 14, 2014. (Image: Reuters/File)

The data has been compiled on the basis of the treatment reports of 27,155 patients in the past decade and a half, the organisation told the media on the eve of the anniversary of the 1984 tragedy that took place on the intervening night of December 2 and 3.

Painting a grim picture of the health hazards the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy sufferers have endured in the past 15 years, an organisation working for their treatment said that ailments among survivors have surged in this period.

Dr Sanjay Srivastava from Sambhavna Trust Clinic, a dedicated facility in the old city for treatment of victims of the industrial disaster, said this on Tuesday on the basis of a medical report prepared by the health centre.

The data has been compiled on the basis of the treatment reports of 27,155 patients in the past decade and a half, the physician told the media on the eve of the anniversary of the 1984 tragedy that took place on the intervening night of December 2 and 3. Over 5 lakh people were affected by the leak of highly toxic methyl isocyanate gas from the Union Carbide India Ltd pesticide plant in Bhopal.

The occurrence of obesity is 2.75 times more in the gas tragedy victims than other patients, said Dr Srivastava, adding that thyroid-related complications are 1.92 times more among the industrial disaster survivors.

Common ailments among the gas tragedy victims include diabetes, blood pressure, and heart, kidney and liver problems, etc. With growing cases of thyroid disorder in the victims, it’s evident that the toxic gas not only affected the organs of the victims but also their internal system, said Satinath Sarangi, an activist working with the survivors.

The clinic volunteers have been instrumental in raising awareness and attending to residents of 15 localities affected by the 1984 tragedy with a population of 42,000 during the Covid-19 crisis, said Tabassum Aara, a social health volunteer at the medical centre.

Established in 1996 for offering free treatment to victims of the gas tragedy, the clinic has till now treated over 25,000 people.

first published:December 01, 2020, 20:57 IST