In a criterion shift ‘Family Planning’ was announced as the key strategy to reduce maternal and child mortality and morbidity by the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Mr. J.P.Nadda during his inaugural address at the two day National Summit on Family Planning today. The minister also launched a new packaging of the contraceptive ‘Nirodh’ with a view to increase its uptake and use. Announcing Mr. Amitabh Bachhan as the brand ambassador and anchor for the new communication approach to be adopted by the Government for its family planning program-me. Mr. Nadda highlighted the importance of communication in program-mes such as these.
Elaborating on the importance of contraceptives in the family planning program-me the minister said , “As a part of our continued efforts to offer Indian women a broader basket of choice, a method mix of contraceptives – Injectables, Centchroman and POPs – have now been introduced into the public health system under the National Family Planning program.’ The improved access to contraceptives will address all the development dimensions, ‘ he informed.
Defining Family Planning as a key development imperative Nadda said that family planning reinforced people’s rights to determine the number and spacing of their children. He further reiterated that freedom to personally determine the timing of a pregnancy would strengthen above all the position of women in society; reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, as many pregnancies at shorter intervals put both mother and child at risk.
The Minister also launched the new revamped logo for family planning awareness campaign and a 360 degree communication plan for enhanced awareness regarding issues related to family planning. Speaking about the importance of communication strategy in the ‘Maternal and Child Health and Well Being Program-me’ Nadda said comprehensive strategy has been worked out where maternal and child health and well being were being placed at the cent re point of the new approach. Mr. Nadda said that the Ministry would work closely through the private sector engagement using approaches such as social marketing and franchising to build strong public-private partnerships to ensure that the interventions reached everyone.
The Health Minister highlighting the centrality of issues such a social and cultural practices, low literacy, poverty and lack of timely access to appropriate healthcare facilities added . “We know that Child survival, maternal health, increasing age at marriage, postponing the birth of the first child, increasing birth intervals, women’s empowerment and employment, literacy and antipoverty efforts are important determinants for stabilizing the population.” Therefore, he felt increasing access to family planning services could have a trans formative effect on everything from poverty reduction to climate change.
The Health Minister informed that India had made notable progress in several health indicators, moving from limiting to delaying and spacing for wider health benefits, he noted that there had been a sharp decline in decadal growth rate from 21.54 percent in 1990-2000 to 17.64 percent during 2001-11.
He mentioned that the total fertility rate (TFR) had also come down from 6 in 1951 to 2.3 in 2013, and 24 states/UTs had achieved the replacement level fertility of 2.1 or less.
Mr. Nadda gave away awards to states for their contribution towards the Family Planning efforts of the country. Tamil Nadu was awarded for its exemplary contribution in Post-partum Sterilization, Madhya Pradesh for it contribution in PPIUCD, Bihar for its contribution on Female Sterilization and Himachal Pradesh for exemplary contribution in Male Sterilization. The Health Minister also launched the Techno-Managerial Guidelines for inject able contraceptives at the Summit, along with a Mobile app for Mission Indra Dhanush.
Mr. B P sharma, Secretary (HFW); Mr. C K Mishra, AS & MD; Dr. Rakesh Kumar, JS (RCH, IEC) and other senior officers of the Ministry and representatives of development partners were also present at the summit.