Kerala government to probe trans-activist's deathtext_fields
Kochi: The Kerala government on Monday ordered a high-level probe into accusations made by the transgender community that a botched sex-reassignment operation lead to the suicide of a notable trans-activist and the first radio jockey from the community.
Annanyah Kumari Alex, a prominent radio Jockey in Kochi, was found hanging in her flat on July 20 last year. Shortly afterwards, her long-time partner Jiju Girija Raj also committed suicide, with friends alleging that he had been plunged into a deep depression following her death.
Members of the transgender community have alleged that Annanyah suffered long-term complications from extensive sex-reassignment surgery which she had complained caused her incessant pain and unbearable stress. Days before her death, she posted a message in social media about her "botched operation and how painful after-effects immobilised her".
The activist's friends said she underwent a sex reassignment surgery in a private hospital in Ernakulam in 2020 but after some time many problems started haunting her. Though she approached the same hospital it failed to address her woes, they said adding severe physical discomfort later led to her suicide.
"There is no uniform protocol in sex reassignment surgeries and LGBTQ community members often end up in traps set up by private hospitals. We need ethical committees to end this exploitation. We need a proper protocol, standard and treatment methodology," said Syama S Prabha, state transgender justice board member to Hindustan Times.
While Kerala's Transgender Act provides for government intervention to provide health care facilities for community members such as sex reassignment surgeries, hormonal therapy and treatment, many private hospitals still treat it as a money-making exercise and there is no oversight said Renju, a prominent activist, as quoted by Hindustan Times.
"Hospitals need qualified healthcare professionals associated with sex reassignment surgery equipped with queer affirmative surgical and counselling practices. We need a health manual guided by world professional association for transgender health guidelines," Renju said.
The Renai Centre for Comprehensive Transgender Health had previously issued a statement absolving itself of medical negligence, stating that the deceased had developed known complications from sexual reassignment surgery and had come to the hospital for checkups and counselling, of her own will.
"The hospital management was willing to part with her medical documents to help her seek legal recourse. The management was also willing to help with her follow-up treatment considering her financial state but declined her other not legally-binding demands," claimed the hospital.