Birth control strategies in disaster prone settings in India
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Series/Report no.:PREA Conference. Ethics and Humanitarian Research: Generating Evidence Ethically. The Fawcett Event Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, March 25-26, 2019. Presentation. Session 6. Oral Presentations 2. Paper B.
Being an ethicist and a community worker it is always a challenge to deal with field research in humanitarian settings. In 2004, Indian ocean tsunami killed over 2400 children in my state (Tamilnadu), the proportion of children under 12 years old was even higher. Consequently, many people survived the tragedy find themselves childless and unable to bear further children because they had been sterilized. So, the government planned for reversal of tubal ligation (recanalization) and provided them a financial support of 25000 rupees to undertake the same in private hospitals. The recanalization of mothers in tsunami context raised many ethical issues and opened pandora’s box on birth control strategies in disaster prone settings. Communities and activists argue that it is better to empower the women and men in disaster prone zone to familiarize with easily controllable and reversible birth control methods as they may want to have children again when they lose their offspring in disasters. More importantly, the existing radical sterilization methods which is very much focused on population control should be reviewed in disaster prone settings. On the whole, being one of the most populous countries in the world which is having more than half of its population below 20 years of age which is potentially facing numerous disasters everyday in different parts should have a clear strategy and a vivid policy on birth control in disaster prone settings.
AUTHOR AFFILIATION: Packiaraj Asirvatham, Church of South India, India, firstname.lastname@example.org
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