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Year : 1981  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 102-10

Trend of socio-demographic characteristics of tubectomy acceptors in a rural area of West Bengal (Singur).

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S P Saha

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 7347318

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An attempt was made to study the sociodemographic characteristics of tubectomy acceptors in a rural community of West Bengal (Singur), India from 1960-76. The study was conducted during the 1975-77 period in the service area of the Rural Health Unit and Training Center, Singur, the field practice area of the All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health in Calcutta. There were 1326 tubectomies recorded in the area from 1960-76. They were divided into 3 groups based on their period of operation, i.e., 1960-72 as Group A, 1973-75 as Group B, and 1976 as Group C. A 33.3% random sample was drawn from each group. 439 cases were drawn in the sample, of which 401 cases (91.1%) could be interviewed through a structured, pretested schedule. It was observed that disproportionately fewer Muslim women than Hindu women chose to have a tubectomy. Muslims constituted 11% of the total population in the area, whereas only 0.8% in Group A, 1.3% in Group B, and 1.2% in Group C were Muslims. Although the proportion of scheduled caste/tribe population in the area remained more or less constant around 23%, the tubectomy acceptance rate increased from 2.9% in Group A to 19.8% in Group C. This was a statistically significant difference. The illiteracy rate among the females in the area was 64%. The proportion of illiterates among the tubectomy acceptors was 67.4% in Group A and 61.7% in Groups B and C. Acceptance of tubectomy among the agricultural laborers increased from 21.9% in Group A to 30.9% in Group C, showing an overall increase of 9% over the years. The mean age at marriage among acceptors increased from 14.7 in earlier years to 15.2 and 15.4 in recent years. The average number of live births declined from 5.3 to 4.4 and 4.3 in recent years. None of the couples in Group B, only 0.4% of the couples in Group A, and 3.7% of couples in Group C accepted sterilization as a birth control method without a male child. The majority accepted tubectomy when they had at least 1 male child. 55.6% of acceptors in Group C were operated within 10 days of delivery compared to 35.5% in Group A and 30.8% in Group C. The average family size of the acceptors was higher than the national average, i.e., 7.04 in Group A, 6.47 in Group B, and 6.55 in Group C. 92.8% of the acceptors had 3 or more living children of whom 43.2% already had 5 or more children. It appears that tubectomy will fail to have much effect on population growth unless mothers are motivated to accept sterilization with a smaller number of living children.

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