Change of theme hits sterilisation plan

Unlike last year, when about 300 men came in at IITF sterilisation centre in nine days, this year only 60 turned up in five days owing to lack of awareness

India, with 1,210,193,422 (1.21 billion) people, is the second most populous country in the world, while China is on top with over 1.35 billion people. Despite the potential human resource, the figures are alarming. But the Ministry of Health seems to be unaffected by them. In one of the largest fairs in the city, the health pavilion does not believe in spreading awareness among the general public regarding population control.

Still waiting! Representatives at the sterilisation camp for men at India
International Trade Fair (IITF), Pragati Maidan, in New Delhi.
Pic/Subhash Barolia

This year's India International Trade Fair (IITF), which showcases various pavilions like the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Small Enterprises and many more have, forgot to highlight one of the major issues--population control.

Where're the men?
Unlike last year, there are no awareness programmes on controlling the country's population. The health pavilion has been set up with different centres in which doctors from various government as well as private hospitals are present. There are centres to detect diseases like breast cancer, diabetes, and also suggest procedures for treatment.  Sadly, the doctors present at the male sterilisation centre at the pavilion are crying foul as they feel the centre has not ignored. They blame the government and the organisers for not advertising about the issue and the centre properly.

"Last year, we sterilised 308 males in nine days, which was a huge figure. It was also appreciable as citizens
are now thinking about population control. But this year, the figures are really low. Within five days, we have sterilised only 60 males, which is not a positive sign. The government did not publicise about it properly. In fact, the advertisements did not say anything about the male sterilisation centre here," said Dr Chandan Kumar, one of the doctors at the pavilion.

To add to their woes, the male sterilisation centre lacks a proper team of doctors which is essentially required to be there. The centre requested for a team of 18 members, which include doctors, nurses as well as a counselor. Sadly, the organisers have sanctioned entry of only 12 members, in which the entry for the counselor was not included.

"The role of a counselor is extremely important. Apart from the counselor, one nurse and a doctor also did not get the pass. These are people who cannot be replaced, so we have to buy tickets for them everyday," added Dr Kumar.  

Big change!
Interestingly, RN Mishra, chief media officer, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, "The number of males coming for the sterilisation process is low this year because the theme this time is 'non- communicable disease.' Population control was the theme last year. Regarding the shortage of passes, last year we were given 400 passes, while this year we got only 217 passes. We have to adjust all the people in the available number of passes. This year we are emphasising more on cardio-vascular disease and diabetes."

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