New Delhi: The Government is taking several steps to sensitize people and generate awareness of the need for population control. Some noteworthy initiatives are as follows:
(i) 360 degree media campaign – The first phase of the campaign was launched in 2016 and the present second phase comprising TV commercials, posters and hoardings, yearlong radio shows, and a dedicated website on Family Planning was launched in 2017;
(ii) ‘World Population Day & Fortnight’ as well as ‘Vasectomy Fortnight’ are observed every year to boost awareness.
(iii) Promotional activities like Saas bahu sammelans, Nayi Pehel Kits, Mobile publicity vans, and advocacy meetings are undertaken to increase awareness in high fertility ‘Mission Parivar Vikas’ districts.
The Government is implementing various schemes for improving access to quality family planning services, details of which are given below:
Steps being taken by the Government for Population Control:
- Mission Parivar Vikas – The Government has launched Mission Parivar Vikas for substantially increasing access to contraceptives and family planning services in 146 high fertility districts with a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 3 and above in seven high focus states. These districts are from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam, constituteing 44% of the country’s population.
- New Contraceptive Choices – New contraceptives viz. Injectable contraceptives and Centchroman (Ormeloxifene) have been added to the existing basket of choices.
- A new method of IUCD insertion immediately after delivery i.e. post-partum IUCD (PPIUCD) has been introduced.
- Redesigned Contraceptive Packaging – The packaging for condoms, OCPs and ECPs has now been improved and redesigned so as to increase the demand for these commodities.
- Compensation scheme for sterilization acceptors – Under the scheme MoHFW provides compensation for loss of wages to the beneficiary and also to the service provider (& team) for conducting sterilizations.
- Clinical Outreach Teams (COT) Scheme – The scheme has been launched in 146 Mission Parivar Vikas districts for providing Family planning services through mobile teams from accredited organizations in far-flung, underserved and geographically difficult areas.
- Scheme for Home delivery of contraceptives by ASHAs at doorstep of beneficiaries.
- Scheme for ASHAs to ensure spacing in births.
- Scheme for provision of Pregnancy Testing Kits in the drug kits of ASHAs for use in communities.
- Family Planning Logistic Management and Information System (FP-LMIS) – A dedicated software to ensure smooth forecasting, procurement and distribution of family planning commodities across all levels of health facilities.
- National Family Planning Indemnity Scheme (NFPIS) under which clients are insured in the eventualities of death, complication and failure following sterilization.
- Ensuring quality of care in Family Planning services by establishing Quality Assurance Committees in all states and districts.
- Appointment of dedicated RMNCH+A counselors at high case load facilities.
- Improved Demand generation activities through a 360 degree media campaign.
- The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) has declined to 2.2 (SRS 2017).
- The Crude Birth Rate has declined from 23.8 to 20.2 from 2005 to 2017 (SRS).
- The Teenage birth rate has halved from 16% (NFHS III) to 8% (NFHS IV).
As a result of these efforts, the country is knocking on the door of replacement level fertility and is on track to achieve TFR 2.1 by 2025.
In order to improve programme implementation, the Government is focusing on:
- High fertility districts,
- Giving emphasis on spacing methods,
- Improvement in quality of services and
- Intensive monitoring.
The Government does not have such a proposal at present since India is signatory to the ICPD (International Conference on Population and Development) Declaration of 1994 held in Cairo which unequivocally advocates voluntary informed choice and honouring reproductive rights of couples to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.
The Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Ashwini Kumar Choubey stated this in a written reply in the Lok Sabha here today.