Male sterilisation declines in R'than

Men avoid going to hospital, send wives

Despite campaigns to encourage volunteer sterilisation and offering freebies ranging from cheap products to Tata Nano cars, promoting male sterilisation remains a daunting task in many districts of Rajasthan.

The Union government too has expressed serious concern over declining number of men opting for sterilisation in the state.

“Maternal deaths and infant mortality rates come down significantly due to male sterilisation. However, the current situation in Rajasthan is pathetic and needs to be reviewed,” said C K Mishra, Director, National Health Mission (NHM), who was in Jaipur to take stock of various projects and schemes being run in the state under NHM.

According to the data of the health department, about 3.02 lakh sterilisation operations were conducted in 2013-14, of which only 3,769 were vasectomies (male sterilisation). In 2012-13, about 3.16 lakh sterilisations were performed, of which 4,946 were vasectomies. Again in 2011-12 only 5,500 men went for sterilisation in a total of 3.14 lakh surgeries.  

“The sterilisation drive is generally monitored by respective district collectors. When DCs take special interest, the number of male sterilisation goes up. This year too, we have written to all district collectors to encourage vasectomy,” said G D Laddha, Project Director, Family Welfare.

In the last two decades, male sterilisation figure was maximum in 2007-08 and 2008-09, when 12,500 men opted for it. The increase in vasectomy at that time was due to various community initiatives taken by a couple of district collectors, wherein they motivated the villagers by offering expensive freebies like colour televisions and cars through daily lucky draws.  

“In Pali district, I roped in social workers and prominent villagers to collect and raise funds in the form of donations and use them in motivating villagers to go for sterilisation. We used the funds to distribute freebies through lucky draws. The bumper draw was a nano car and other items included colour TV and household goods,” said Neerak K Pawan, Additional Director, National Health Mission and the then collector of Pali district.

The gravity of the situation can be analysed from the fact that in districts like Jhalawar, no vasectomy was performed despite 300 women going for sterilisation last year. In districts like Bundi, Dungarpur, Jalore, Barmer and Pratapgarh, only one or two male sterilisations were performed.  

“Rajasthan has been traditionally a male dominant society and this culture still exists in rural areas where women are generally given secondary status in a family. In such a situation, males do not want to go to hospital for sterilisation operation and send their women instead,” said Megha Sharma, psychologist and a social worker.

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