Press Releases

Statement from the Population Council on Chhattisgarh Tragedy

We are deeply saddened by the tragic deaths and complications experienced by women in Chhattisgarh. Our hearts go out to the women who died, those experiencing complications after surgery, and their families. We support rigorous investigations of the situation and hope they provide answers for the families of those who were affected, the people of India, and the Indian government.

Incidents like this underscore the vital importance of family planning services that put women’s rights, health, and well-being at their center. When family planning programs focus on quality of care, women and their families are better protected.

We trust that the Indian government will act on this opportunity to examine the family planning services available today and will improve the quality of care that women receive—including quality information and counseling, services, and medicines.

All health services should follow the guidance and appropriate standards for good clinical practice. In the case of sterilizations, this includes an appropriate number of clients per day, adequate screening of clients, quality assurance of medicines, appropriate equipment and supplies, skilled assistants, and appropriate follow-up and treatment of women with complications.

The Population Council conducts research on crucial health and development issues to improve policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Based on data from surveys in India, we are concerned that women, particularly those who are socially and economically vulnerable, lack access to the full range of information, services, and methods they need. We have urged both the government and private sector to ensure quality in the programs they offer.

We hope the Indian government will work with states to develop health systems strategies that are more protective of clients’ rights, ensure quality of care, and better meet the needs of women and their families. 

About the Population Council
The Population Council confronts critical health and development issues—from stopping the spread of HIV to improving reproductive health and ensuring that young people lead full and productive lives. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research in 50 countries, we work with our partners to deliver solutions that lead to more effective policies, programs, and technologies that improve lives around the world. Established in 1952 and headquartered in New York, the Council is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization governed by an international board of trustees.

# # #

Media contact
Erin Kiernon,, +1 212 339 0653