Man, I feel like a woman...

GUWAHATI: Abdul Ali, a 50-year-old man from rural Assam, is facing a sexual identity crisis of sorts, albeit on paper. His sex was put down as female' in an ultrasonography (USG) report released by the department of radiology of the Gauhati Medical College Hospital (GMCH). Not only that, his uterus and ovaries were declared to be normal in size, shape and texture!

Abdul, an anaemia patient, was admitted to the hospital on December 31, 2010. He hails from Muktapur village near Baihata Chariali in Kamrup (Rural) district. His family members, including younger brother Kashim Ali, said Abdul, had been suffering from a stomach disorder in December and he was admitted to the region's most sophisticated hospital run by the Assam government GMCH for treatment.

Doctors at the hospital took 11 days to detect the disease that Abdul was suffering from. Following their advice, the family members of the patient got an ultrasonography (USG) done at the hospital.

But Abdul and his family got the shock of their lives when the USG report, which they collected on January 11, identified Abdul a female' and clearly mentioned that his "uterus and ovaries are normal in size".

"Uterus: Normal in size, shape and parenchymal echotexure. Endometrical thickness is normal. No focal myometrial or endometrical lesion seen," said the report, attributing female physiological features to the poor man from Muktapur!

In another part of the report, Abdul's non-existent ovaries were discussed. "Ovaries: Both ovaries are normal in size and echomorphology. No mass lesion in the adnexa. No intraabdominal free fluid or adenopathy noted," said the ultrasonography report.

The fallacious report was finalized and approved by a professor of radiology at GMCH on January 11, who obviously did not think it important to scratch his grey cells for a minute before passing the report.

However, the story doesn't end with the faulty report. Abdul's family members alleged that he was even asked to take medicines prescribed by the doctors on the basis of the USG report that showed him as a female patient!

"Doctors could not diagnose his disease properly for he was wrongly shown as a female patient in the ultrasonography report," said Taher Ali, the eldest son-in-law of Abdul.

Taher, who doesn't know how to read English, also added that they came to know of the blunder the radiology department of GMCH had made only a few days ago after a doctor of the local Bihdia Public Health Centre pointed out that Abdul had been erroneously made out to be a woman after he read the USG report of GMCH.

Abdul, who belongs to the economically-weaker section of society, has been suffering from his ailment even after he was discharged from GMCH on January 15. "He is now bedridden and is being treated at his village home with the consultation of local doctors," said Taher Ali.