Kounteya Sinha, TNN Sep 9, 2012,

NEW DELHI: Botched sterilizations have claimed 56 lives this year, while 29 others have reported complications.

Also, 2,609 cases of failed sterilization operations have been recorded so far in 2012. Cases of sterilizations that went wrong (including deaths, failures or those that resulted in additional complications) increased by nearly 19% between 2010 and 2011 — from 7,751 cases to 9,188 cases.

India has recorded nearly 2,700 cases of failure, complication or death due to sterilization this year. Rajasthan recorded the highest number of failures in sterilization cases at 772, while Tamil Nadu accounted for maximum number of deaths at 10.

Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Friday that the ministry has coughed up Rs 5.13 crore as compensation for 1,604 for botched cases. Rules stipulate Rs 2 lakh for death following sterilization in the hospital or within seven days of discharge; Rs 50,000 for death following sterilization within eight to 30 days of discharge; Rs 30,000 for failed sterilization and Rs 25,000 for any complication within 60 days of discharge.

Madhya Pradesh recorded the second highest number of failed sterilization surgeries (566), followed by UP (420), Tamil Nadu (177), Haryana (125) and Odisha (102).

TN led the fatalities’ list, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh at eight deaths each, Bihar, Karnataka and Rajasthan at four deaths each and Assam, Gujarat and UP at two deaths each.

In 2011, too, TN had led the list of maximum number of deaths at 44, followed by Andhra and Karnataka (22), Rajasthan (16), Maharashtra (13) and Bihar (10).

Sterilization operations are still the most preferred method of birth control in India. Azad said “The matter has been taken up with the health secretaries of Rajasthan, MP, Haryana, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, UP and Odisha to review the performance of doctors in respect of quality.”

Ministry records suggest that between 2011 and 2012, 1.79 lakh vasectomies and 46 lakh tubectomies have taken place. MP recorded the highest number of sterilizations – 5.96 lakh, followed by Andhra (5.41 lakh), Maharashtra (5.12 lakh), Bihar 4.97 lakhs, UP 3.32 (lakh), Gujarat 3.26 (lakh) and Rajasthan 3.14 (lakh).

“We pay a compensation of Rs 600 to every woman who undergoes tubectomy and Rs 1,100 to a man who undergoes vasectomy through the National Family Planning Insurance scheme. Around 2,700 unsuccessful sterilization cases is a marginal failure rate in comparison to around 48 lakh total sterilization cases.