The Madhya Pradesh government is worried as not even five per cent men underwent sterilisation till September against the target of 50,000 operations planned under the family planning programme this year.
The state health department has fixed an annual target of 5 lakh sterilisation operations. It plans 10 per cent men operations under the target.
However, only 2,185 men underwent sterilisation surgeries till September. “We want to improve this scenario. We have fixed a yearly target of 50,000 male sterilisations and 4.5 lakh female sterilisations. Last year, around 6,000 males had undergone family planning operations in the state,” said Dr BS Ohri, joint director, Health (Family Welfare).
Increasing male sterilisation holds significance as the state government has set a target to achieve total fertility rate (TFR) of 2.1 by 2017 from its current TFR of 2.9. TFR means average number of children that would be born to a woman over her reproductive span. Increase in male sterilisation can contribute to decline in TFR.
Dr Ohri said the health department wants to start an intense awareness drive across the state to change the mindset of men towards family planning so that more men should go for sterilisation.
He said the department has decided to observe a ‘male sterilisation month’ from October 29 to November 28.
“The first phase from October 29 to November 12 will be observed as couple fortnight, in which our field workers across the state will visit the families and apprise them about the importance of family planning, especially from the perspective of males. The males will be encouraged to visit the nearest health facility where they can opt for the sterilisation surgery,” he said.
In the second phase between November 13-28, sterilisation camps for males would be organised at block and district level.
“Apart from this, various events like rallies, contests, debate competitions will be organised to spread awareness on male sterilization,” he said.
To encourage the field staff and workers, the state health department will also facilitate the best performers, he added.