PALPA, July 7:A sharp drop in distribution of freely available condoms at private and government health facilities of Palpa district has caused a rise in the number of women seeking abortion, showed the data provided by the District Public Health Office (DPHO), Palpa.
As per the policy adopted by the government, Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) should always carry temporary means of family planning in their bag, including condoms and pills. However, the distribution of those contraceptives is pathetically low due to the taboo regarding sex.
During the past 10 months of the current fiscal year, (FCHVs) in Galdha VDC managed to distribute only 34 condoms while FCHVs at Archale VDC distributed 94 condoms so far. FCHVs from Koldanda VDC have distributed condoms to 3,403 people, which is the highest number of distribution in the district.
“Locals hesitate to ask condoms from FCHVs which has caused problems in distribution. They prefer to get it from health posts instead,” said Madhav Gyawali, information officer at the DPHO, adding that distribution of condoms this year has dropped sharply compared to the previous years.
Galdha-based health post has distributed 1,700 condoms during the same period. A total of 7,300 people have visited health post at Archale to get condoms while Kholdanda-based health post distributed condoms to 4,980 locals.
“Traditional mindset prevalent in the typical society is the main reason why condom distribution was very low and even nil. Many people are still shy and hesitant to take contraceptives from health institutes as it is considered a taboo,” said Min Bahadur Rana, in-charge of Archal Health Post.
However, Rana said that locals are well aware about the importance of condoms. “Despite having awareness, locals hesitate to ask for condoms fearing negative perception from community,” he added.
A total of 13 health institutes in the district provide abortion service through Medabon medication, according to Rajendra Ghimire, chief of the DPHO. The number of women seeking abortion through this means has increased sharply this fiscal year.
A total of 913 women had sought abortion in the last fiscal year. As many as 886 women had carried out abortion by April of the current fiscal year alone, according to information officer Ghimire.