God's own country on male sterilisation drive
The programme slated to kickstart from Monday (Jun 27) is an effort from the National Rural Health Mission and is intended to achieve the national Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 2.1 per cent. The expected target of the mission is five male sterilisations per day for district hospitals and two for taluk hospitals.
A door-to-door campaign, the programme will be sensitised among the populace by an ASHA worker or a JPH nurse.
The move is likely to erupt a war of words with population experts especially since Kerala is placed in an ideal position of 1.7 per cent TFR. Dr K.V. Beena, district programme manager of NRHM has been quoted as saying. “As per the circular issued by the Central government, the male sterilization target for district hospitals is five a day and that for taluk hospitals in two daily."
She added, “No one has to compulsorily undergo the process but we will update the eligible couple register in each of our sub-centres and give awareness programmes."
The programme is likely to be carried out in seven districts including Ernankulam. K.N. Harilal, State Planning Board member said on the disturbing trend that setting targets was a dangerous thing as some communities have low replacement rates. He added, “Many who don"t have exposure and awareness will agree to undergo sterilisation."