Staff Reporter

Social stigma a major factor in rural areas

TIRUCHI: Takers for the male contraceptive method was less in rural areas owing to the social stigma attached to it, speakers at the inauguration of a district-level workshop on ‘No scalpel vasectomy (NSV)’ said on Wednesday.

The workshop was aimed at sensitising health workers to effective and convenient method of family planning in order to reach out to people in rural areas. Of the 10,678 family planning surgeries that took place in 2006, 10,658 were performed on women and 20 on men. Simply put, the ratio of male and female undergoing contraceptive surgeries was on an average 1:700.

In her presidential address, district chairperson V. Sangeetha said field officers and health workers played a key role in creating awareness on vasectomy. During their visits to provide antenatal care for women, village health nurses should counsel their husbands.

Painless method

Inaugurating the workshop, Deputy Director of Public Health Services V. Veerapandiyan said despite the convenient and painless method of surgery involved in male sterilisation, the awareness level was less in Tamil Nadu compared to Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. About 70 per cent of family planning surgeries in Andhra Pradesh were vasectomy. Unlike NSV, complications were higher in tubectomy and the success rate was not consistent and would take a toll on the health of postnatal mothers.

A vasectomy camp was conducted recently for government employees and doctors and a couple of more is slated on January 10 and 25 at K.A.P. Viswanatham Government Medical College Hospital. The department aimed at bringing down the maternal and infant mortality rates and promoting institutional deliveries.

K. Durairaj, Deputy Director of Medical and Rural Services and Family Welfare, said 29 vasectomy and 7,000 tubectomy surgeries were held in the district this year and the department planned to double the number of male sterilisation surgeries in the first phase.

About 100 health workers, doctors from primary health centres and government and taluk hospitals and community health nurses took part in the workshop.