Expanding the basket of contraceptive choices, India launched a new injectable contraceptive under its public health system. To mark the World Population Day, India also launched a new programme Mission Parivar Vikas which will focus on 146 high fertility districts in 7 States with high Total Fertility Rates.
Speaking at the function, Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, J.P.Nadda said the injectable had been launched under the `AntaraÂ programme which also includes new software Â Family Planning Logistics Management Information System designed to provide robust information on demand and distribution of contraceptives to health facilities and ASHAs to strengthen supply chain management.
ÂUnder Mission Parivar Vikas, specific targeted initiatives shall be taken for population stabilisation through better services delivery,Â Mr Nadda said adding that the new initiative had been conceived by the Ministry with a strategic focus on improving access through provision of services, promotional schemes, commodity security, capacity building, enabling environment and intensive monitoring.
The Health Minister also advised the officials to undertake half yearly review of the programme and correlate the achievements with time to gauge whether the programme is moving in the right direction or not. He stated that ÂWe have enhanced the basket of contraceptive choices to meet the changing needs of people and have taken steps to ensure quality assured services and commodities are delivered to the last-mile consumers in both rural and urban areas.Â
As part of the new communications campaign linked to the roll-out, the Minister also launched a new consumer friendly website on family planning and a 52-week radio show for couples to discuss issues related to marriage and family planning, which will be aired across the country. He stressed upon the life cycle approach of the Ministry and said that a continuum of care approach has been adopted with the articulation of `Strategic approach to Reproductive Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health.
Over at the Family Planning Summit in London, C.K. Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced that India will overarch FP2020 goals to drive access, choice and quality of Family Planning (FP) services so as to increase the modern contraceptive usage from 53.1% to 54.3% and ensure that 74% of the demand for modern contraceptives is satisfied by 2020. The country will be expanding range and reach of contraceptive options by 2020 through rolling out new contraceptives.
The country will increase FP awareness and generate demand through the 360-degree media campaign in all States and continue to provide FP services and supplies free of cost to all eligible couples and adolescents through the public health system, Non-Government organizations, and accredited private sector. The social marketing scheme will be revitalized, and social franchising schemes would be initiated to rope in the private sector, Mr Mishra said.
IndiaÂs commitment will go a long way in reaching thousands of women and girls with critical reproductive health information. For example, India has over 9.2 million married and sexually active adolescents (ages 15-19) of whom 26% have an unmet need for contraception. If India was to increase its focus on adolescents, enabling an additional 1.5 million adolescent girls to use modern contraception by 2020, then we would see a 17% reduction in its adolescent birth rate.
Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said access to contraceptives changes everything. “Women are freer to work outside the home, earn an income, and contribute to the economy. Mothers and fathers can devote more resources to their kids health and educationÂsetting them up for a more productive future. Multiply that by millions of families, and you see why contraceptives are one of the greatest antipoverty innovations the world has ever knownÂand one of the smartest investments countries can make. Through the new commitments expected today at the Family Planning Summit, we have made a bold statement that investing in family planning is crucial to building the healthier and more prosperous future we are all working towards,ÂÂ she said.