The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tsunami moms eye surgery for kids

Chennai, Feb. 24: Parameshwari Bose of a village near Nagapattinam town wants to reverse her sterilisation to become a mother again as she has lost all her four children to last year's tsunami.

Scores of other women in the worst-hit district of Tamil Nadu, who lost two or more children, are also thinking alike, according to a village nurse who attended a state-level health workshop here yesterday.

P. Nirmala, from Dindigul district, submitted the names of at least 55 women from Nagapattinam alone who desired to 'reverse their sterilisation'.

Most tsunami-hit couples in the district are above 35 and do not want to lose time in having children again, said Nirmala, who has been at work with victims in the affected areas.

For instance, Parameshwari, supported by her fisherman husband Jyoti Bose of Chandrapadi village, did not wait for any government assistance in this regard.

She used some of the money paid to compensate for her children's death to 'undergo recanalisation' at a private hospital in Karaikal, near Nagapattinam, so she could become fertile again.

Most other women like her, who had undergone sterilisation earlier as part of a family planning drive, are now looking to the 'recanalisation option', the workshop on post-tsunami medical challenges was told yesterday.

Recanalisation is a procedure that reverses sterilisation through a microsurgery in the abdomen, said Dr Abraham Issac, resident medical officer at Government Kasturba Memorial Hospital, Chennai.

The 'simple procedure', he said, reopens the conduit for a woman's eggs to enter the fallopian tube again, thus reversing sterilisation.

The success rate is 30 per cent and the risk of defects or congenital malformation in the baby increases when couples are above 35, Issac added.

Nirmala, who first brought to notice the predicament of bereaved tsunami-hit couples, said it was advisable for them to have children at the earliest as most married women in Nagapattinam were above 35.

Pointing out the loss of Parameshwari and the others, she said it was understandable that 'these women want to have more children'.

The government pitched in by agreeing to bear the expense of recanalisation for these women, according to state health secretary Sheela Rani Chunkath. She was present at the workshop with which the World Health Organisation was associated.

Baby 81 heads to US

Colombo, Feb. 24 (Reuters): Sri Lanka’s Baby 81 is going to America.

The island’s most celebrated tsunami survivor, three-month-old Abilass Jeyarajah, who was found alive amid debris and then sat at the centre of an identification controversy as his frantic parents underwent DNA tests to win him back, is to appear in his first talk show.

“Abilass is taking us to America,” his father Murugupillai said today on his way to obtain passports for the trip.

The excited father said he had never been out of the country and the baby had brought him and his wife Jenita luck. They are due to fly out on Sunday, courtesy of an American television network — reportedly ABC’s Good Morning America.

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