NEW DELHI: A large percentage of India’s just passed MBBS graduates feel it’s ‘illegal’ to provide contraceptives to the unmarried couple and do not know how to insert an intrauterine contraceptive device, a first of its kind survey to assess knowledge and training of family planning methods of fresh doctors has found.
The survey by researchers with Post-Graduate Institute for Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, and United Nations Population Fund, New Delhi, has concluded that interns and in-service nurses with less than 5 years’ experience have poor or wrong knowledge of contraception, its side-effects and even contraindications for pills.
This is despite the Medical Council of India, Nursing Council of India and Union government guidelines for emphasising on family planning in medical education.
This crucial gap in education in medical and nursing colleges compromises the reproductive rights of women, imposes unnecessary barriers to family planning and results in denial of choices, the research has noted.
The analysis conducted in teaching hospitals in Delhi, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra among 163 randomly selected participants found that about 40 per cent of the interns and 52 per cent of the nurses knew less than five contraceptives that could be offered to the clients.
In India, despite the concerted efforts, only a minimal improvement has been observed in the family planning indicators. For instance, contraception use rate declined from 56.3 per cent to 53.5 per cent.