The burden of family planning continues to rest on women, as out of 12,605 sterilisations done by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), a mere 128 men volunteered for vasectomies, revealed health officials from the civic body.
Officials said the target for the year 2016-17 was 1,095 vasectomies.
“It is a challenging task to convince men to opt for a vasectomy, as a family planning method,” said a senior health official at PMC.
On Tuesday, the PMC, along with other organisations, observed World Population Day. Dr Anjali Sabne, acting deputy medical officer of PMC, said 9,207 women used intra-uterine devices, 2,488 opted for oral pills, while a total of 4.27 lakh condoms were distributed in 2016-17. As part of the event on Tuesday, at least 55 couples decided to undergo sterilisation. Across the state, out of the total 4.5 lakh sterilisations, only 13,924 men had opted for vasectomies as a family planning method in 2016-17, said an official.
The state government had also launched the ‘Antara’ programme, which involved giving Modroxy Progesterone Acetate (MPA) injection to prevent unwanted pregnancy. The state had also procured doses of this injectable contraceptive to cover different regions of Maharashtra, said officials from the state family welfare bureau.
This injection, officials added, is considered a safer alternative to hormonal pills, because of minimal side effects. The programme will be launched at 23 district hospitals, 20 medical colleges and 12 women’s hospitals, said an official. This year, the theme chosen by the United Nations is: ‘Family planning — empowering people, developing nations”.
However, lack of access to family planning jeopardises the health of the mother and subsequently that of her child, which results in increasing rates of maternal and infant mortality, said an official. Our data has revealed that increasing one contraceptive method in an existing basket of choice has resulted in an eight to 12 per cent increase in the use of modern contraceptives, he added.
“Providing couples access and choice to quality family planning in developing countries has a direct positive impact on indicators of maternal mortality, infant mortality and women’s empowerment,” said Poonam Muttreja, executive director, the Population Foundation of India.