CHENNAI: The state family welfare department has performed 1,002 no-scalpel vasectomy surgeries from April to December 2022. The procedure is a type of elective surgical procedure for male sterilization. For the second consecutive year, the highest number of vasectomies was performed in Nagapattinam, with 129 surgeries in December alone. The district health officials attribute it to efforts by district collector Dr A Arun Thamburaj.
“The government provides Rs 1,100 as an incentive for men undergoing no-scalpel vasectomy procedure. The collector increased it to Rs 5,000 in 2021, and the response was overwhelming. This year he announced a Rs 1,000 incentive for a health worker who motivates eligible men to take up the procedure by raising awareness,” said Dr J Josephine, deputy director of family welfare, Nagapattinam district.
“When we analysed the data of women who didn’t undergo family planning and found that they had health complications. Their health condition was also affected because of repeated abortions. The collector encouraged health workers to identify such cases and motivate their partners for male sterilisation procedures,” said Dr Josephine.
However, the doctors said, these numbers are very less compared to sterilisation among women. The health and family welfare department data for 2020-21 shows, of the total 2.25 lakh sterilisation procedure performed in government institutions in the state, only 0.3% (689) of male sterilisation were performed including conventional vasectomy, but 99.6% (2,25,145) of female sterilisations were performed.
“Even among educated men, there is no awareness of male sterilisation. There is still a social stigma,” said Dr Yuvan Singh, medical officer, Kariyapattinam upgraded PHC in Nagapattinam district. According to the health department data, the state performed over 1,000 no-scalpel vasectomy surgeries each year till 2016-17.
The figure dropped to 507 in 2018-2019, before rising to 951 in 2019-20. In 2021-2022, the state performed 863 vasectomies against 687 the previous year. This was because of focused efforts by some districts, including providing enhanced incentives and priority in availing government schemes and also effective awareness, say officials.