Amid controversy over a circular in Madhya Pradesh regarding sterilisation targets, the government data showed participation of men in family planning initiatives was regularly falling down.
The state government had set sterilisation targets for male multi-purpose health workers.
It showed that vasectomy numbers had gone down from 9,957 in 2015-16 to 7,270 in FY 2016-17, 3,719 in 2017-18 and 2,925 in 2018-19 in the state.
In the current fiscal, as on January 30 this year, the number of vasectomies performed in MP stood at 2,514, the data revealed.
Experts said the fall was due to lack of awareness coupled with a male-dominated mindset, leading to a serious gender gap in the context of family planning operations in MP.
Renowned sterilisation specialist Dr Lalitmohan Pant, who claims to have carried out the highest number of family planning operations worldwide, told reporters on Sunday, “In last 38 years, I have performed 3.85 lakh sterilisation operations, of which only 13,600 (3-4 per cent) were vasectomy operations.”
“Most men still feel their physical strength and manhood will be reduced if they undergo sterilisation. In reality nothing of this sort happens. I myself underwent a sterilisation operation about 25 years back and I work for about 12 hours a day today,” said the 64-year-old surgeon, who is with MP’s health department.
He said most women had to undergo sterilisation operations because their husbands were unwilling to get vasectomized.