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Sterilisation drive: Women play leading role, men shy away

The health department data show that out of the total sterilisation cases conducted in Uttarakhand last year, there were a little over three percent vasectomy cases

dehradun Updated: Aug 13, 2018 22:01 IST
Nitika Kakkar
Nitika Kakkar
Hindustan Times, Deharadun
Uttarakhand News
Of the 13 districts, Tehri, Pauri and Rudraprayag accounted for the lowest number of male sterilisations last year .(File/Getty Images)

Going by the state health department records, the onus of sterilisation in Uttarakhand is on its women. The health department data show that out of the total sterilisation cases conducted in the state last year, there were a little over three percent vasectomy cases. This year, the number is even lower.

Vasectomy is a surgical procedure for male sterilisation.

According to the data, a total of 12,826 people were sterilised in the state from April 2017 to March 2018. Out of these, just 410 were vasectomies. This year, the vasectomy cases are decreasing. From April to July, there were only 29 vasectomies against 77 registered during the same period last year.

Of the 13 districts, Tehri, Pauri and Rudraprayag accounted for the lowest number of male sterilisations last year with 2, 3 and 4 cases respectively. Chamoli and Nainital recorded the highest number of vasectomies with 94 and 71 cases respectively.

Dr Yugal Kishore Pant, the director of National Health Mission (NHM), said this is because women are much more approachable by the health workers in the state. “Women of the state are in touch with the Asha and ANM workers. They come to us for antenatal care, delivery and other services. There, the workers inform them about sterilisation procedure, counsel them and they come on board with it,” Pant said.

“Most males do not come to us on their own in these matters. Earlier, we used to have male health workers in the state. Like ANM workers, they used to talk to the men about reproductive health. Gradually, the posts of these male workers kept reducing and it became a dying cadre. Now, we don’t have male workers. All our ANMs are females and it becomes awkward for them to convince men for sterilisation or reproductive services,” Pant said.

He said the state’s replacement rate has come at par with its fertility rate. “If the replacement ratio and fertility ratio are at par, the population of the place ceases to grow and stabilizes.”

“Our replacement rate has started to fall below 1.9, which means that the population will start declining in the long term. This phenomenon is common in many European countries, which has led to the number of elderly being higher than the number of young people there,” Pant said.

The NHM director said the state government will try to keep the replacement rate at par with the fertility rate, so that the population of the state does not grow. “Only those who come from outside the state will be responsible for the increase in numbers. Our population won’t grow,” Pant said.

First Published: Aug 13, 2018 22:01 IST