Sterilisation procedures drop 40% in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Sterilisation procedures aimed at family planning interventions have reduced by 40% in Karnataka in 2020-21 because of the pandemic. The state has conducted 1.3 lakh procedures so far this year against 2.2 lakh in 2019-20.
“This means there are possibilities of unwanted pregnancies, an increase in illegal and unsafe abortions, and economic burden on many families,” says Dr BR Chandrika, state deputy director for family welfare. The situation in Karnataka mirrors the global trend due to the pandemic, she added.
With district hospitals in the state turning into Covid centres, sterilisation — like several non-Covid services — took a beating.
Many stayed away from sterilisation due to Covid
The turnout at the camps conducted from October 2020 has been less due to virus fears, say doctors.
“Women who wanted to undergo sterilisation procedure could not reach the facilities during the pandemic period. Laparoscopic sterilisation camps, too, could not be conducted,” says Dr Chandrika.
Postpartum sterilisation — a procedure that prevents a woman from becoming pregnant performed soon after the birth of a child — was done even during lockdown.
Of the total procedures, 643 men underwent vasectomy in 2019-20 and the number dropped to 393 in 2020-21, officials said. “Family planning procedures are target free. In the current year, we’ve met 60% of what we achieved in 2019-20,” an official told TOI.

According to BN Dhanya Kumar, project coordinator, the lockdown period was made use of to train ground staffers in soft skills, especially in counselling. EngenderHealth-Karnataka, a private organisation, has been working with the government in 15 districts in successful implementation of family planning methods. “Even during lockdown, we conducted virtual training sessions for healthcare workers. Our training sessions focus on emphasising the need of counselling couples about the options for family planning and spacing between two kids,” said Dr Dhanya Kumar.
During the peak of the pandemic in June, the health and family welfare department had advised districts to ensure the availability of family-planning measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies. “There is a need to enhance provision of safeabortion services, besides postpartum and post-abortion contraception,” a note from the director of health services stated.

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Sagar Biswas

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