South Asia

India doctors suspended over deaths of pregnant women

A pregnant women suspected to have fallen ill after being administered contaminated intravenous fluid at a hospital in Rajasthan state.
Image caption Tens of thousands of women die in India annually during pregnancy

Authorities in the Indian state of Rajasthan have suspended three senior doctors in connection with the deaths of 18 pregnant women last month.

The doctors have been charged with negligence and irregularities in purchases of medicines.

The women died after they were given infected intravenous (IV) fluids at two hospitals in the city of Jodhpur.

Laboratory tests had confirmed that IV fluids supplied by a local company were "tainted", officials said.

The women died after severe haemorrhaging after the IV fluids were administered, authorities say.

India accounts for the highest number of maternal deaths in the world, with tens of thousands of women dying every year due to pregnancy-related problems.

Campaigners say most of the deaths are needless and could easily be prevented if more care and attention were paid to their treatment.

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