Stop ‘camp method’, focus on male sterilisation: activists

November 14, 2014 02:13 am | Updated December 04, 2021 11:33 pm IST - NEW DELHI:

A collective of non-governmental organisations has demanded that the ‘camp method’ of sterilisation needs to be stopped with immediate effect as quality of care is seriously compromised in mass sterilisation programmes to meet earmarked targets.

Expressing shock at the death of several women after sterilisation surgery at a camp in Chhattisgarh recently, the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, Sama Resource Group for Women and Health, CommonHealth and National Alliance for Maternal Health and Human Rights in a statement issued here said the morbidities are a result of a “botched-up sterilisation operation camp.”

The groups have demanded an epidemiologically-sound investigation into the incident.

“A three-member probe team has been constituted but these members are a part of the state, which signals a serious conflict of interest and thus, there should be an independent inquiry committee,” the statement said.

The groups have also demanded competent medical care for women who developed complications after the surgeries.

“This tragedy raises grave questions about the unsafe, unhygienic conditions and the slipshod attitude under which these operations were conducted. Moreover, the women who are presently critical continue to get treatment in dismal conditions exposing them to further risks and danger,” the statement further said.

Activists and health workers say it is time to shift focus from sterilisation of women to men and introduce more forms of contraception.

Statistics show that despite female sterilisation being invasive, more time-consuming and risky, the government has failed to encourage male sterilisation, which is less invasive and safer and needs little post-operative care. Citing data, activists and health-care professionals are demanding that the Centre focus on male sterilisation and expand the bouquet of temporary contraception.

Poonam Muttreja, executive director of the Population Foundation of India, said family planning programmes should be reviewed and the practice of giving incentives to meet targets stopped.

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