The civic plans to promote male sterilisation or vasectomy by approaching corporate offices seem to have failed. Less than one per cent of a dismal 999 cases recorded this year,the lowest in the past few years after the civic body reintroduced incentives for the procedure,came from these offices.
The annual vasectomy figures in the city have dropped drastically despite the reintroduction of an incentive of Rs 1,451 for one who opts for the procedure. From 4,354 cases in 2008,they came down to 3,501 last year. The monetary incentive holds no value for employees of the corporate sector,anyway. But,we have to evaluate why the numbers are dwindling even in the lower economic strata, said Dr Asha Advani,special officer with the BMC Women and Child Department.
She said the numbers this year were disappointing. Not only the private sector,we had visited the Air India office and interacted with the BEST officials. Most CEOs did not get back to us after the first meeting. She blamed it on the poor awareness about the method and surgery results. The no-scalpel vasectomy,a countrywide norm now,is a five-minute procedure without any anaesthesia requirements,and absolutely no side effects.
She said surveys at corporate houses had suggested the prevalence of myths. Men think they will not be able to lead normal lives or may have problems in routine activities like lifting heavy objects. On the contrary,the procedure is much safer and cleaner than tubectomy or female sterilisation,which has risks of side effects,she said.
The BMC had reacted strongly against the state government move to withdraw funds for the scheme last year. Since April 2009,the state contributes Rs 351 of the amount given to a beneficiary while the central government gives Rs 1,100.
It now plans to train doctors in private nursing homes for the procedure. Most doctors are not trained in the new vasectomy surgery. We hope that once private doctors start offering this procedure,more people will start opting for it. The F-South ward office has been identified as a training centre and volunteers will visit clinics in Parel to impart training.