The high rate of hysterectomies in Beed district has put the medical fraternity in a spot for carrying out unwanted procedures. The Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), a body of over 40,000 doctors from across the country, has now decided to sensitise its members and reach out to the community and the government.
Through its ‘save the uterus’ campaign, FOGSI is reaching out to all members and talking about how a hysterectomy can be avoided. “There are so many new medical treatments and other surgeries that can be opted for instead of a hysterectomy. We are reaching out to the doctors and sensitising them about these procedures and treatments,” Dr. Kalyan Barmade, head of FOGSI’s public awareness committee, said.
“Problems like abnormal bleeding are extremely common and there are many ways to treat it. We are simply spreading awareness about what alternate treatments can be offered,” he said.
The Beed district in drought-stricken Marathwada came into focus in May after media reports highlighted that a large number of women, especially those who migrated for sugarcane-cutting work, have had their uterus removed. Data collected by the government showed that 4,605 hysterectomies were carried out in Beed in a span of three years in 99 private hospitals.
Activists have alleged that the rate of hysterectomies in Beed is 14 times higher than other parts of the State or the country.
A seven-member committee appointed by the government is currently investigating the matter and will submit a report this month. Of the 99 hospitals, 11 hospitals have carried out most of the procedures.
According to Dr. Barmade, more than six seminars have been conducted in Beed, Osmanabad, Latur, Ambejogai and other areas over the last few months. “We have also extended our campaign to others parts of the country like Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat where the rate of hysterectomies are said to be high,” he said.
The first step is to sensitise the doctors and then reach out to the community members, he said. “Lastly, we will submit a memorandum to the government because it plays a key role as well.”