The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has written to all States to ensure that every individual opting for family planning, is provided options in a “spirit of voluntarism.”
Following protests over the focus on female sterilisation >and the deaths of 13 women in Chhattisgarh this past November , the Ministry has shot off a letter to the States underlining that female sterilisation is just one of the options in the “bouquet” of family planning choices and every individual should be counselled about the options available.
Non-government organisations and social activists, citing the high numbers of female sterilisation in the country, have been critical of the government for not promoting other methods of spacing.
‘Camps’ under fire Following outrage over the deaths in Chhattisgarh and over the continued violations of the Supreme Court’s instructions on how the procedures should be carried out, the Centre has also cracked the whip on “camps” conducted in unhygienic conditions and by bypassing the laid down rules.
States have been instructed to ensure that all operations are conducted only inside health facilities with working operation theatres.
The Centre has also asked the States to re-orient all programme officers and service providers on the standard operating procedures for sterilisation.