The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), which reviewed the quality of female sterilization services in the India's third most populous state, Bihar, said the issues are not over yet in the country.
India, the world's top sterilizer of women, came under global scrutiny last November when 15 women died and scores of others were hospitalized after sterilization surgery in neighboring Chhattisgarh state.
AdvertisementThe case prompted agencies such as the United Nations Population Fund to reiterate the need for surgical contraception to be administered in safe and sanitary conditions.
Ravi Verma, head of ICRW's Asia regional office, said the evidence generated by their research highlighted the fact that services for women undergoing sterilization were still poor. "The plight of poor women denied of the dignity and respect they deserve, coupled with the high risk of exposure to infections and post-surgery complications, are clearly highlighted by our research," Verma said in a statement.
The ICRW said the report was conducted with the Bihar government, but the state's Health Minister said he was unaware of the study and refuted its findings. "We never came across any report of risks of infection and other such complications during sterilization operations in government hospitals," Health Minister Ramdhani Singh told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
India's mass-sterilization program and efforts to rein in population growth have been described as the most draconian after China.