Police complain as AIIMS takes its time on rape sample kits
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Over two years after a Delhi High Court order made it mandatory for hospitals to follow standard operating guidelines for medical examination of rape victims, AIIMS is yet to start providing standard kits for collection and storage of samples procured from victims.
The hospital does not have any standard operating guidelines for doctors carrying out the examination either.
The kits produced by CEHAT, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), and a performa of guidelines issued by the Delhi government have been implemented at hospitals across the Capital. Central medical institutions such as Safdarjung Hospital have also adopted the kits, and participated in two national training sessions organised by CEHAT — the last of which was conducted in October this year.
However, the emergency medicine unit at AIIMS is yet to procure the kits or issue guidelines on the do's and don'ts of examining rape victims. Adding to the problem was the fact that the gynaecology examination room had been lying closed for six months, till October, on account of renovation work being taken up at the casualty department. Meanwhile, the rape victims were being examined in the paediatrics casualty room.
A doctor from the Gynaecology department said, "The only option available was to conduct the examination on beds in the pediatrics wing, hidden from people's view with surgical curtains."
"CEHAT kits are a standard tool to collect and store evidence in a scientific manner. Facing a lack of such kits, AIIMS has been collecting samples in rudimentary ways," a police officer said, adding that the vaginal swab samples procured from a rape victim on Monday evening were taken in test tubes — before being wrapped in packets meant for surgical gloves.
Confirming this, a doctor from the Gynaecology department said, "Police officers create a lot of fuss while accepting the samples. But, in the absence of proper kits to store the samples, we use plain paper with a Leukoplast adhesive tape. Clothes and other samples are wrapped in plastic bags that are not properly sealed."
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