Women Undergo 98% of Sterilizations in India

  • The botched sterilization of women in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh has once again highlighted the murky world of such mass sterilizations in India.
  • Last year, about 4.2 million sterilizations took place in the country.
  • The striking fact is that almost 98% of these were tubectomies, that is, female sterilizations
  •  Almost 37% of all tubectomies in the world are done in India.
  • In fact, India is the only country in the world where female sterilization predominates among various birth control measures.
  • This will explain why it is women who are the victims of the Bilaspur tragedy.
  • According to reports, a surgeon conducted tubectomies on 83 women in quick succession.
  • The women went into toxic shock, which might be because of instruments not being sterile.
  • According to Dr T Sundaraman, former executive director of the National Health Systems Resource Centre run by the Union health ministry:Although laparoscopic sterilization is now the technique of choice because it enables quick recovery and least invasion, ironically, it could also be the cause of the present tragedy.
  • Laparoscopic surgery requires a higher degree of skill and also a more complicated method of sterilizing the equipment.
  • Using inadequately sterilized instruments will lead to infections.
  • Sundaraman blames the increasing deficiency of health personnel in govern ment health centres for recurring incidents of this kind.
  • While deaths due to sterilization procedures have ranged from 153 to 184 a year between 2010 and 2012, cases of post-operative complications have more than doubled in the past four years.
  • The larger truth hidden in the government’s sterilization efforts is that it is almost exclusively directed at women.
  • This is because men are under the misapprehension that sterilization will affect their ‘manliness’ or virility.
  • So, women are encouraged to get themselves sterilized.