Health dept to take spiritual route to create faith in male sterilisation

Health dept to take spiritual route to create faith in male sterilisation
For the first time, the state health department will rope in faith leaders of all religions to promote family planning by men through non-scalpel vasectomy (NSV).

Next, the department has plans to invite popular Kannada film actors to their campaigns to sell the idea.   

Use very low

NSV is the only family planning procedure available for men and its use very low when compared to  female sterilisation figures.

As against 3.5 lakh female sterilisations a year, the number of men undergoing NSV is just around 1,200. From April to September  2017, only 310 NSV procedures were performed.

Pilot project

The pilot project to promote NSV will be launched in Bengaluru urban district, including BBMP areas.

Dr N Rajkumar, deputy director (family planning), said that they have already identified 400 community faith leaders who would first be educated on NSV.

They in turn would spread awareness about male sterilisation, debunk myths associated with it and educate why men should play a key role in family planning programmes.

The project will officially take off from November 2, when four liaison officers will begin a baseline survey for the project.

“Forget talking to members of the public about NSV, local leaders are not even ready to attend a session to know about male sterilisation,” said Dr Rajkumar.

“During family planning programme, when we are asked to talk about the procedures, local leaders, especially at the Zilla and Gram Panchayat level, just walk out of the session. The awareness about NSV is zero even today among the public,” he added.

Dr Rajkumar said that the myth of turning impotent after NSV looms large among men and it is very difficult to rid them of this needless fear.

NSV is always a second option for a couple if the woman is having a history of medical problems. Only broad-minded men, who would not want to burden their wives with child bearing and also undergoing family planning procedure, come forward for NSV, he added.

Safe procedure

Unlike female sterilisation procedures like tubectomy, which come with a host of risk factors, including Post Tubal Ligation Syndrome, NSV is a totally safe procedure which does not affect male potency or hamper any other activity.

Dr Rajkumar said a recent radio programme on NSV, however, elicited some positive response from callers who said they were unaware of NSV and its safety.

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