Thursday, July 11, 2013

The New Focus of this year's UN World Population Day in India for stabilization of its population is on the use of IUCD among young mothers as a Family Planning Measure

The focus of this year's UN World Population Day is to reach out to its young population and push spacing method as a measure for family planning to achieve the total fertility rate target of 2.1 in all its states.
As part of its family planning programme, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has initiated this year to provide post partum intra-uterine contraceptive device (IUCD) to women who deliver children in government set-ups. Post partum IUCD is a measure of spacing children and is administered to women within 48 hours of delivery.  This will also help in taking care of post partum problems of young mothers.  More than half of deliveries across India take place in Government set-ups.  This number is rising and may rise further due to Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY) of the Indian Government.  The Government has already started providing IUCDs where the rush of deliveries is more. There are about 16000 such delivery points in public sector where substantial number of deliveries take place that will be covered under the programme. Currently such facilities are being provided at government medical colleges and subsequently the district hospitals and other sub-centers will be targeted. With focus on spacing of children, doorstep delivery of contraceptives by ASHA workers has also started in about one-third of districts and later will be done across the entire country. The strategy is to reduce the total fertility rate, the emphasis is on spacing and young mothers are being encouraged to do so.  The Health Ministry, under its flagship NRHM is taking the help of counselors who will encourage young women to use contraceptives and space their children. To target adolescents for providing sex education to them along with awareness on nutrition, government also aims to develop peer educators. Twenty one states and union territories which account for 44 per cent population have already achieved Total Fertility Rate of 2.1.  With this strategy, time will tell whether all states/Uts of India will have at most Total Fertility Rate of 2.1.
The above strategy has been formulated on the basis of health statistics being generated and the same is as below:
·         As per the National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3) fact sheet, over 47 per cent women age 20-24 years in India get married before attaining the age of 18 years and early marriages leads to early child bearing. With only 13 per cent of 15-19 year-old using contraceptive as per the said survey, the unmet need for family planning is higher among 15-19 year-olds at 27 per cent compared to 13 per cent unmet need across all age groups.
·         Teenage pregnancies account for almost 16 per cent of the total pregnancies in India and almost 9 per cent of total maternal deaths.
·         Data available suggests that about 45 per cent maternal deaths occur in 15-25 age groups, while in 40 per cent pregnancies there is no appropriate spacing among children. The unwanted, unplanned pregnancies increase the chances of unsafe abortions that risk the life of young women and adolescent pregnancies face a higher risk of maternal mortality.

·         The greatest returns on investment may come from investing in adolescent girls. They are also more chance to marry later, delay childbearing, have healthier children, and earn higher incomes. They will be a force for change in their communities and generations to come. 

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