Hyderabad: Thanks to this gynaecologist, many uteruses have been saved in the two Telugu-speaking States.

V Kameshwari, a Hyderabad-based woman, along with her husband Dr Surya Prakash Vinjamuri, has been helping many women to avoid hysterectomy or womb removal surgery.

She says that a lot of unethical and unnecessary hysterectomy happen in both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Their aim is to educate women about the critical importance of the organ. The couple calls their initiative ‘Save Uterus’.

According to the National Family Health Survey Data for 2015-16, around 20.1 per cent women in the age of 40-49 years underwent a hysterectomy in Telangana while in Andhra Pradesh it was at 22 per cent. This was the first time NHFS collected data on hysterectomy. The study pointed out that Andhra Pradesh was highest in hysterectomy, while Telangana was just behind.

Kameshwari began her unique journey in 2018 when she and her husband conducted around 122 awareness programmes in different villages of Yadadri to address the issue of unethical hysterectomy.

“What we are doing is not enough, to be very honest. We are just addressing the issue but more awareness should be brought about. Towards achieving this, more people should volunteer,” she points out.

A study published in Health Care for Women International Journal (November 2019) stated that in India, hysterectomy is increasing because people prefer private hospitals. They state that the private health sector tends to perform hysterectomy even if it is not needed.

Kameshwari says, “The average of hysterectomy in India is 21-28 years, while in western countries it is 44 years. This means Indian women are losing their uterus at a very young age and sometimes their ovaries, implying that they are landing themselves into artificial early menopause, which can have drastic side-effects.”

Unethical hysterectomy is high because it means a lot of money to the hospitals, she said. Hysterectomy costs between Rs 50,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh, while medication and consultation fee will be considerably less.

In recognition of her yeomen services to the society, Kameshwari received an award from Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundarajan.

She said, “I was happy getting an award, but more than that I wish to spread awareness. I want more volunteers, who can help take forward our campaign and support us in our cause.”

Aiswarya Sriram

Aiswarya Sriram is a budding multimedia journalist and is currently working for NewsMeter as a "Factcheck Freelancer". A graduate from Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media (IIJNM) Bangalore, Aiswarya has earlier worked with The Logical Indian and has interned with Republic TV. Aiswarya, a Tamilian who was born and brought up in Mumbai, loves to do rural reporting. She has visited Byadgi Taluk of Karnataka, to write about the issues faced by chilli factory workers there, earlier in 2019. A craft enthusiast, Aiswarya also does quilling, painting and glass work. On her off-days, she loves to read crime-thrillers and watch anime. She primarily reports on civic issues, GHMC, human-interesting features, and fact-checking video stories.

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