A doctor attached to the Medical Supplies Division, who was responsible for the purchase of the contaminated syringes, had been named as the head of a 4-man committee tasked with investigating the purchase, health ministry sources revealed yesterday.
A number of persons, including expectant mothers died of meningititis after being injected through syringes later found to have been contaminated.
However, the sources said that Health Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva was not aware about that appointment and the health sector trade unions had expressed their protest.
The committee is scheduled to travel to overseas for their investigations and would spend millions, trade unions alleged and asked how an officer who was responsible for the purchase could be appointed as the chairperson of the probe committee.
The probe committee was appointed at a meeting between Doctors from hospital where Meningitis was reported and Health Ministry officials last week.
`Around 340,000 children are delivered per a year. Of that, 30 percent are delivered through Cesarean section. Around 10,000 Caesarean sections are recorded per a month. Seventeen 17 mothers were infected with Meningitis, but the investigations proved that only eight were infected through the use of the Syringes. Thus, the ministry is responsible for infecting the patients with Meningitis, the official said.`